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qi-o /<o£-6u.ctc^ J3^/y' /r 







P.O., Q.0, M.P. 









P.O., Q.C., M.P. 





37, Bedford Stbbbt. 70, ^^^ ^^^^^ 









It is nearly twenty years since Mr. Roebuck died, and 
sui'prise has often been expressed that so long a time has 
elapsed without any record being given t^ the world of 
the career of a man of unique personality, who played a 
prominent part in his country's affairs T^r half a ceu-ury. 
Into the reasons for the delay it is uaneces'^ar^y to enter. 
Circunstances have at length made possible t ae realization 
of the determination, ever tenaciously held by those most 
intimately connected with Mr. Roebuck, to place the story 
of his life before the public. Although the ranks of tiiose 
who knew him are sadly thinned, and a generation has 
arisen to whom he is little more than a name, the lapse 
of time brings with it this compensation — that the events 
which engrossed Mr. Roebuck's activities can be seen in 
larger perspective, and the persons with whom he came 
in contact can be referred to with less of the reticence that 
would have been necessary during their lifetime. 

My work has been that rather of an editor than of an 
author, because my chief aim has been to let Mr. Roebuck 
tell his own story, as far as possible, in his own words. 
There has, compulsorily, been some departure from this 
plan in dealing with his later years, but, as a rule, the 
connecting narrative and elucidatory explanations have 
been restricted v.'ithin the briefest compass. I have had 



the invaluftble co-operation of Miss Roebuck, who, besides 
undertaking much of the labour of transcribing, was good 
enough to entrust to me a large mass of letters and printed 
papers, including the fragment of autobiography which 
forms the opening chapters of the book. These, with 
Hansard's Debates and newspaper reports of speeches deli- 
vered out of Parliament, have formed the basis of the work. 
Mr. Roebuck wrote regularly to Mrs. Roebuck, but beyond 
that he was not a voluminous correspondent ; and the reason 
why an appeal for his letters has not met with larger 
response, is probably because there are not many in 

My special thanks are due to Mr. Graham Wallas, and, 
through him, to the representatives of the late Mr. Francis 
Place, for giving me access to the systematically preserved 
papers of that " Radical tailor of Charing Cross," who, for 
many years, was the power behind the activities of the 
advanced Liberals. I am indebted to Messrs. A. and C. 
Black for placing at my disposal letters written by Mr. 
Roebuck to the late Mr. William Tait, of Edinburgh ; to 
the executors of the late Alderman William Fisher, of 
Sheffield ; to Mr. John Temple Leader, of Florence ; and to 
other friendly helpers. 


May, 1897. 



'• Early Lifk iv Pv^. 

Ill r '^'''* ^^«^«-^824) 

'^ "^ ^^«^AND (1824-1832) 
JV. John Stpabt Milt t ^ '" 







«TioN TOR Bath (1832) 

RP „ PARLIAMENT (1833-1834) 

Bk-klkctk. .OB Bath (183o) ^ - 

B^WCAL Becriminations 

R^^noK AS A Democrat (*;837) '" " ' 

Defeated at Bath (1837) 

Canada-The Repbbsentation nJ*« ■■' 

^. B.«_,,^ ^- '-" c^ ;;■«.« - - '" 

^M Fall OF Pkel (1846-1847) •" *«« 

*'WAi, BmoTioN AT Bath (1847) '*' *" - ^^ 





XVII. The Dtino Data op Toeixing ... ... ... 189 

XVIII. The West Riding (1848) 200 


(1849) ... ... ... ... 212 

XX. Pabliamentabt Activities (1849-18!»0) ... ... 223 

XXI. BB-EI.E0nON FOB SHEFFIELD (1850-1853) ... ... 24G 

XXII. The Crimean and China Wars (1854-1857) ... 258 

XXIII. "Teab 'em': (1857-1859) 209 

XXIV. Austrian Leanings — Diffbbenors with Constituents 

(1860-1861) 283 

XXV. Fighting with Wild Beasts (1862-1865) ... ... 294 

XXVI. Rejected by Sheffield (1865-1868) ... ... 309 

XXVII. Out of Fabliament, and in again (1868-1874) ... 327 

XXVIII. Mb. Roebuck's Last Pabliament (1874-1878) ... 345 

XXIX. The Last Year— Death in Habnkss (1878-1879) ... 356 

XXX. Estimates of Mb. Roebuck's Cabeeb and Obatobt 367 


1. J. A. Roebuck in 1838 (fbom the Painting by O. F. Watts, 
R.A.) ... ... ... ... Frontiepieee 

?. The Right Homoubable J. A. Roebuck, Q.C, M.P., in 1868 


To face 310 




I FANG'S that I have not long to live ; therefore, if I can 
leave anything behind me in the shape of a life history, it 
must be written in haste, and certainly without any great 
regard to accuracy as to dates. The space of time to be 
gone over is large (nearly seventy years), the scenes, many 
of them, important, and the individuals to be spoken of 
occupying a great position, and influencing greatly the 
welfare of this country. 

My purpose is to give a faithful, and perhaps an 
interesting, picture of a single life — of the life of a man 
bom in the middle rank of society in England in the 
early days of the nineteenth century, and living to the 
latter end of that century ; taking part in the most im- 
portant transactions as regarded his country, yet perhaps 
having little influence upon them, in spite of his great 
zeal and (I believe I may say it) his perfect honesty of 

Without further preface, I will I 'n the history of my 
life. A happy life ! I have, indeed, thank Providence 
for the many benefits with which I have been gifted. I 
have been happy as a son, as a husband, as a father; I 




have been happy in my public career : have I not, then, 
much for which to be thankful ? 

I was born at Madras in the year 1802, December 28, 
My father was Ebenezer Eoebuck, a younger son of Dr. 
John Koebuck, the founder of the Carron Iron Works, in 
Scotland, and well known in the scientific world.* My 
mother was Zipporah Tickell, the daughter of Kichard 
Tickell,t also well known in the political and literary 
world of Fox and Sheridan. 

My father's brother Benjamin was paymaster-general 
of the forces of the East India Company at Madras % at the 
time of my parents' marriage, and my father took his 
young wife to India. She was then about twenty-one, 
having been married at sixteen. She left three children 
in England, all boys, in the care of her mother; bore 
three children in India, all boys ; came home in 1807, 
leaving her husband in India. He then had the almost 
certain prospect of making a great fortune ; but on the 
very day that his wife and children landed in England 
he died suddenly. Having unwarily made a journey 
through some deadly forests,§ travelling at night, he was 
found in the morning dead in his palanquin. My uncle 
Benjamin died shortly after. Thus my mother was left 

* Dr. John Koebuck, the second of the live sons of John Eoebuck, manu- 
facturer, of Sheffield, was born in that town in 1718. For an interesting 
account of the manner in which, laying the foundations of great enter- 
prises, he made the fortunes of other men, but lost his own, see Smiles's 
■'Industrial Biography," p. 133. One of Dr. Roebuck's brothers was the 
first banker in Sheffield ; two others were, among Sheffield merchants, the 
earliest to open correspondence with mercantile houses of tlie Continent. 
One of them built Meersbrook House, adapted in recent years to the 
purposes of the Ruskin Museum. 

t A descendant of Addison's friend and under secretary, Thomas Tickell, 
poet and translator of the Iliad, 1G86-174(). 

% Chemistry was Benjamin Roebuck's hobby. The natives were inclined 
to look upon him as something of a wizard, through seeing him perform the 
simple experiment of making ice in front of a fire. 

§ While engaged, for the East India Company, in endeavours to improve 
the navigation of the river Godavery. 





with six children, and with veiy uncertain means. She 
had to educate them, put them forward in the world, 
without assistance from her late husband's family or her 
own. A truly difficult task, and a trying and dangerous 

She was very beautiful, very clever, fascinating, and 
young. It is not wonderful that she was sought for by 
many, that she married soon. The husband she chose 
(Mr. Simpson) was, like herself, young and handsome, but 
of no position. In choosing his wife he was guided 
more by passion than by prudence. Whatever may have 
been his defects, I have every reason to respect him, and 
to be grateful to him for his uniform kindness to us, 
his stepsons, and to our mother, whom he ever treated 
with the utmost gentleness and loving coux'tesy. They 
were indeed a happy couple, as far as themselves were 
concerned. Fortune, however, did not befriend him. 
He was a merchant, and not successful ; and after many 
schemes had been tried and failed, it was resolved that 
we should emigrate to Canada, which we did in the 
year 1815. 

The first years of my life, and the time I passed in 
America, so deeply affected my whole character, and went 
so far in forming the man, that I am induced to dwell 
somewhat longer on those years, and to describe more 
minutely the incidents of that time than I otherwise 
should do. 

My early life in England was, in its first years, the 
life of a child of polished society. My mother, in spite 
of her unwise marriage, retained her connection with her 
old friends, and much of my time was passed in the house 
of Mrs. Anne Boscawen, with whom my Aunt Eliza Tickell 
lived. Mrs. Boscawen's story was a romance. She, early 
in life, was engaged to my grandfather Tickell, and was by 
him jilted. But her love for him survived every disap- 
pointment ; and when he died she took the children that 


others bore him, and loved them as her own. My mother 
was the first. She soon married. My Aunt Eliza suc- 
ceeded, and remained with Mrs. Boscawen until that lady's 
death. Mrs. Boscawen had been maid of honour to Queen 
Charlotte, but left that office on her expected marriage 
with my grandfather. When this was broken off she 
became, I think, laundress to the Queen, an office not 
thought unfit for a peer's daughter. 

I became a great favourite with my aunt, and saw, 
young as I was, much of the society that frequented Mrs. 
Boscawen's rooms in St. James's Palace. My memory 
chiefly dwells on the rejoicings of 1814, and the visit of 
the kings and emperor — all of whom I saw — and their 
suites. But of the men who visited at Mrs. Boscawen's, 
the only two I really recollect are Kean, and Charles 
Young, the actor. My aunt, Eliza Tickell, was a proprietor 
of Drury Lane, and was the first who brought Kean to the 
notice of the persons who then governed the theatre. She 
was on a visit in the south of Devon, and saw Kean act 
in a barn in the village. Her letter to the directors, or 
whatever they were called, induced them to send down 
a Doctor Somebody — I forget his name — to see and decide 
upon Kean. He saw Kean, and was so much struck with 
him that he recommended that he should be instantly 
brought to London. Kean came, and the town went mad. 
I only saw him once in private ; I often saw him act. The 
occasion of my seeing him in private was upon my aunt 
asking me if I should like to see him ; and upon my 
answering joyously, " Oh yes," she gave me a letter, which 
I took. I, to this day, recollect the impression made upon 
me by his eye. He was reading when I was ushered into 
the room. He spoke kindly to me. What he said I know 
not, but I was pleased, and the memory of him, as I then 
saw him, remains with me. 

The other person whose name I have mentioned, Charles 
Young, the actor, I saw only once, when he came on a 






morning visit to my aunt. I was a shrewd, precocious 
child, very much of the enfant terrible sfyle, and I saw, 
or fancied I saw, a sort of flirtation going on. The result 
of this notion of mine will be seen further on. The opinions 
of a child are worth nothing, but his feelings may be 
worth knowing. At this time, and during all the after 
years of my sojourn in England, I was wild about the 
theatre. Before I was ten years of age I knew Shakespeare 
by heart. I had seen John Kemble as " Coriolanus," "Brutus," 
" Hamlet." Young I saw as "Cassius" to Kemblc's "Brutus," 
Charles Kemble playing " Antony." Young also I saw as 
" Pierre " in Venice Preserved. Then, to my extreme delight, 
I sawKeanas "Richard III." "Hamlet," "Othello," "lago." 
To my child's judgment, by far the best actor was Kean ; 
his violence and rant seemed to me nature. The studied 
manner of Kemble did not please me, though, led by 
what I heard, I fancied that I admired him. Young's 
agreeable and regulated style went straight home to my 
heart, but Kean made me wild. We boys used to shout 
the verses, fight the battles we had seen and heard the 
night before. 

Most unfortunately for me, the year after we returned 
to England I sprained my right knee by slipping on an 
oilcloth. This sprain I aggravated by skating ; and in the 
severe winter of 1812 I was a well-known performer on 
the Serpentine. Being very small, and dressed in a scarlet 
jacket, I attracted attention. I was able to perform many 
feats. I was great in the spread eagle, and could make 
two figures of three on one leg; and the consequence 
was that a ring used to be made in which good skaters 
performed, one of whom I was. One day, alas ! I was 
attracted by something at a distance. Going straight to 
my mark, I found in my way a heap of snow, and jumped 
over it; but the point of my right skate caught in the 
bottom of the trouser of the left leg, and I came down on 
my right knee, which immediately swelled. This lamed 

»w«lP»W»-,J^I t " '^l^tf 


me for life, and my weak knee has influenced my fate in 
many ways. That winter (1812) the Thames was frozen 
over, and I skated from Westminster Bridge to Putney 

I have also skated on the St. Lawrence from Augusta, 
on the Canadian side of the river, to Ogdensburgh, on the 
American shore, the distance being five miles, and the river 
there a mile broad. This fact is remarkable, as ordinarily, 
though the river is always frozen over in the winter, that 
usually happens by successive frosts during which snow 
generally falls, and there is no possibility of skating ; but 
on the occasion mentioned the frost was so severe as to 
make an ice bridge over the river in one night. The snow 
held off, and the river became passable, and skating 
possible. The wind was down the river, south-west, and 
I held my great-coat open. This served as a sail, 
and took me down rapidly; but I was unable to skate 
against the wind, and had to walk home by the road on 
the Canada side. As I went gliding over the ice I saw the 
weeds at the bottom of the river, and the fish swimming 
among them. This is, however, an anticipation of my 
American life. 

My feeble health, for the most part, kept me at home. 
Excepting twice, I was never sent to a boarding school, and 
upon each occasion the success of the experiment was so 
small that there was no attempt made to renew it. My 
education, therefore, was confined to English reading. I 
read with my mother and grandmother, and thus acquired 
that love of reading which has been my solace through life. 
I do not recollect the time when I could not read, neither 
do I know how or when I acquired that power. My aunt 
first taught me to read with propriety and effect — the 
manner being far more considered than the matter. I 
remember my aunt taking me one morning to my mother, 
to show how prettily I could read Little's poems — a strange 
book for a child being taught by a young girl. I have 



never read a line of Little since, but from what I have learnt 
concerninfj him, I am sure that I understood him not at all ; 
and such, I expect, was the case with my teacher.* My 
grandmother taught me to read Shakespeare, but this 
was some years after. She drilled me thoroughly, and was, 
I believe, the cause of my great admiration for that mar- 
vellous poet. Under my mother I learned to feel what I 
was reading. We read chiefly poetry, not dramatic ; but 
with her I went through most of the great English 

Under my mother's care I began also to write — that is, 
to compose. For many years it was my habit to go into 
her room before she was up, and to lay upon her dressing- 
table a letter written upon any subject that suggested itself 

* Years afterwards, however, Sir. Eoebuck, without knowing it, met the 
writer of "Little's" poems. This was Thomas Moore, who, iu 1801, had 
issued a volume of original verse under the assumed name of Thomas Little — 
an allusion to his diminutive stature. " In these pieces," says " Chambers's 
Encyclopsedia of English Literature," " the warmth of tlie young poet's 
feelings and imagination led him to trespass on delicacy and decorum. He 
had the good sense to be ashamed of these amatory juvenilia, and genius 
enough to redeem the fault." Thomas Hood plays on Moore's pseudonym in 
•• The Wee Man : " 

'' Loud laugh'd tho gogmagog, a laugh 

As loud as giant's roar — 
' When first I ciime, my proper name 
Was Little — now I'm Moore.' " 

Moore, in his diary (" Journals and Correspondence," vol. vii. p. 253), writes 
under date February 24, 1839: "Bessy and I started for (Sir William) 
Napier's on our long-promised visit. Found Eoebuck with him, whom I was 
very glad to meet, and even more surprised than glad, as nothing could be 
less like a firebrand than he is, his manner and look being particularly 
gentle. Boebuck stayed but a short time, having to return to Bath by the 
boat, which I was sorry for. 

" February 27. — Young Falconer, brother-in-law of Roebuck, came, and 
soon after Roebuck himself joined us. Conversation on various subjects — 
America, mesmerism, etc., all very agreeable. Some allusion having been 
made to my squibs, Roebuck said I had described him (which I had myself 
forgot) dancing a fandango with Recorder Shaw [? Law]. On the subject of 
mesmerism I found Roebuck to be much of the same opinion as myself — 
that the next folly of swallowing all its marvels, is tlmt of rejecting them 
all. Was sorry when Roebuck and his brother-in-law left us." 



to my fancy. When she first proposed this to me, I 
objected, saying I had nothing to say. Her answer was, 
" Never mind that ; write anything, no matter what. Tell 
mo what you have done during the day, what you have 
seen, what you have read. You may always find something 
— never mind how trivial. You will find, as time goes on, 
the task more easy, and by-and-by it will become a 
pleasure." So it did. During one part of these early 
days I thought of becoming a poet, and among my letters 
to her were many specimens of my poetical attempts. 
But I was taught no Latin, no Greek, and, strange to 
say, no French, though my mother spoke French fluently 
and well. 

One strange scheme of Mr. Simpson's was to turn 
farmer, which he did in 1813, and went to Leicestershire, 
taking all of us and my mother with him. This plan 
naturally failed, but the time spent in the country showed 
me a new phase of life, though I was too young to 
understand all that I saw. I nevertheless perceived 
that we had come among what was to me a strange class 
of people, whom indeed I liked, for they were very 
kind to us children, and the fields were pleasanter than 

Whilst in Gumley, Leicestershire, we had a visitor — 
a friend of my mother's — who, in after years, was the 
cause of a mighty effect upon my whole life. This was 
Thomas Love Peacock,* who excited my curiosity by his 
conversation. He was at the time studying Greek, was 
reading some Greek dramatist and a commentator, and 
excited the wonder of the farmers who came into the 
house by reading, as they said, two books at once. He 
used to sit on a chair on one side of the fire, at a sort of 
shelf, which drew out of the wall, which shelf held his 

* Author of " Headlong Hall," " Crotchet Castle," etc. In succession 
to James Mill, he was Chief Examiner at the India Office, 1836-56. 
Died 1866. 





books, and in the evening his light. Every day after 
breakfast he folded about a dozen paper boats, which he 
told me he was accustomed to sail or set afloat in any 
piece of water which he found in his walk — which walk 
he began as soon as his boats were made, and continued 
till our dinner, which was about five o'clock p.m. These 
long solitary walks, his paper boats, his books, and the fact 
that he was a poet, made him a sort of mj'sterious being 
to the country people, who certainly were somewhat afraid 
of him. 

While I was at Gumley, I went to my second school — 
I forget where ; but the master was a clergyman, and a 
coward. My brother Benjamin went with me. After we 
had been about a week at school, we were surprised by 
seeing Mr. Simpson enter the room in which we were. 
He told us he had come to take Benjamin home, as the 
master of the school had written to say that he could not 
undertake his tuition. To me he had no objection, so I 
was to be left where I was. Such a proceeding was 
necessarily calculated to have a most mischievous effect 
on Benjamin, who was taught thereby that he need obey 
no one, and that he might do as he liked. 

The boys at the school were accustomed to athletic 
exercises, leaping being a very favourite game. I must 
take my part, and by so doing soon sprained my weak 
knee, and was sent to bed until the swelling subsided, 
which generally took a week. I asked for books, and 
chose among those offered to me. Glover's "Leonidas."* 
When I had finished this, I asked again, and the master 


* The author of the article on Kichard Glover in the "Dictionary of 
National Biography" did not reckon on the literary craving of young 
Roebuck on his sick-bed when he wrote : " Glover's ponderous ' Athenaid ' 
... is much longer, and so far worse than ' Leonidas ; ' but no one has been 
able to read either for a century." For Roebuck, an eiiic poem in blank 
verse, in nine books (afterwards enlarged to twelve), had no terrors. Glover 
sat in Parliament for "Weymouth, 1761-68. The "Athenaid" was a sequel 
to " Leonidas," which had been published in 1737. 


i ra i rt ii wi pi 


books, of which I 


some grave religious books, ot which 1 could 
not read a page. I was sorely grieved and greatly 
disgusted ; and therefore wrote home, pressing to be taken 
away, as I learned nothing, and was very miserable. The 
letter had the effect I wished ; and thus ended the second 
attempt to teach me scholastically. 





LIFE IN CANADA. 1815-1824. 

The next change in my life resulted from the determin- 
ation to emigrate. Shipboard and the sea gave me much 
knowledge of life. 

My mother's brother had been secretary to General 
Simc^e when he was Governor-General of Canada, and 
my • icle lost his life in an expedition to the great 
lakes. As he was crossing the Niagara River in a small 
boat, a short and severe flurry of snow came on. When 
this cleared away, the boat and its occupants had dis- 
appeared for ever. The English Government gave my 
mother five hundred acres of land in Upper Canada, near 
York (now Toronto), in requital of my uncle's services. 
This land led, I have no doubt, to the scheme of 

The year we left England was 1815. The passage 
was in a barque named the Dorothy, one of three 
vessels ordered to the Clyde to ship emigrants to 
Canada. As the war was now renewed, I suppose this 
plan was adopted in 1814, upon the defeat of Napoleon 
and his imprisonment in Elba. When the war ceased in 
that year, doubtless means were taken to relieve the 
overburdened Empire. The population was too large for 
peaceable times. But the war was suddenly renewed, 
and no one could say when it would end. I imagine the 
plans of 1814 were not put aside, but carried on as if 


peace still continued. The news of the battle of Waterloo 
arrived while we were lying in the Clyde. The ships 
were dressed in flags, and there were great rejoicings. 
While still lying before Greenock, the whole of us made 
an excursion to a house, lately built by the Duke of 
Argyle, at Roseneath — a charming spot, which in the warm 
summer days seemed like fairyland. 

We went on board in the Clyde, the vessel being the 
Baltic Merchant, which, proving uncomfortable, we left 
her, and went on board the more roomy and convenient 
Dorothy. I am surprised that I remember the names of 
these ships and the incidents of those times, things of 
far greater importance which have happened later having 
passed away from my memory. The captain of the 
Dorothij was a bluff, good-humoured sailor, of no education, 
and of low breeding. The calibre of the first mate may 
be judged by the information he gave us inquisitive boys. 
He told us the voyage to America would necessarily be 
a slow one because, from the shape of the earth, we were 
what he called " dimming " uphill ; whereas, returning 
from America, vessels ran downhill, and came faster home. 

I was then, and have been all my life, a poor sailor. 
Sea-sickness never leaves me while I am aboard. After 
a voyage of eight weeks I have been as ill the last day 
as the first. I nevertheless employed myself during the 
voyage in reading and drawing, which have always been 
with me great means of solace and pleasure. 

Our passengers, the emigrants, were chiefly Highlanders. 
One of the chiefs — his name was MacNab — came on board, 
and had a lachrymose leavetaking with his clanspeople. 
•' They are all as good as mysel'," he said to us in tearful 
accents, and as an excuse for his tears, which were plentiful, 
and seemed sincere. The people, however, were a wild set, 
particularly the women. But many of their habits were to 
us most interesting. For hours I have seen four men 
seated on the deck, each one holding the corner of a 



shepherd's plaid, and swinging it to and fro, singing, in 
a low chanting tone, an interminable song in Gaelic, often 
during the time shedding tears. All the music seemed to 
me to be in a minor key ; but of this I am not sure, as 
I know little — I may say nothing — of music. They often 
danced, the women as well as the men, all dancing well. 
They grew by the exercise very excited, when there often 
appeared a feeling of anger and hate against the English. 
Once, there being some trilling dispute with the captain, 
upon a complaint made by the passengers, an oldish woman, 
somewhat tipsy, called upon the men to right themselves 
by their skencs, which we were told signified knives. Upon 
another occasion, a wild-looking Highlander rushed upon 
deck. Running to the capstan, he dashed his hand upon 
the top of it, and threw down a cockroach, saying in broken 
English, " Are these the things ye have on board, and do 
ye treat us in this way ?" The captain, as may be supposed, 
laughed loudly upon this, and dismissed him and his insect 
with some rude sailor's answer. 

We boys soon took an interest in the working of the 
ship, and che mizzen-mast was given up to us. We merely 
worked the yards — that is, on deck — never being allowed to 
go aloft. I think I made a mistake in calling the vessel a 
barque, as she had a mizzen top-sail, which a barque has not. 

I may mention here a matter which may be a warning 
to any future emigrant family. A woman-servant, who 
had li\'ed with us in England many years, and who pro- 
fessed to be warmly attached to my mother, joined us in 
011V plan of emigration, and v.ent with us in the ship to 
Canada, being treated rather as one of the family than as 
a servant. When arrived at Quebec, she told my mother 
that she had promised to marry the captain of the ship, 
und was to return with him. She left us after eight or 
nine years of service, and we never heard of her afterwards. 
This led to engaging the two daughters of an emigrant 
named Fergusson, Maigaret and Katharine. 



The passage up the river St. Lawrence was trying to 
our patience, but agreeable, as the weather was fine, and 
the wind, though generally unfavourable, yet being south 
and west, the climate was pleasant. When we arrived at 
Quebec, the vessels were ordered up to Montreal, upon 
which we proceeded onwards, and the first day ran aground. 
The laden vessel could not be got off. Then a fine large 
steamer came and took us from the ship, baggage and all. 
When we got on board the steamer we found, among the 
passengers. Sir Sydney Beckwith. We boys were all 
clad in barragon,* dressed as we supposed was fitting 
for a wild country. My mother and Mr. Simpson were 
dressed as gentlefolks ought to be. Sir Sydney was 
attracted by my mother, and the large family of boys, and 
soon entered into conversation. Learning that our name 
was Roebuck, he made some inquiry which led to his being 
informed as to who we were. " Good God ! " he exclaimed. 
" What, nephews of Benjamin Roebuck of Madras ? " He 
then put his hand before his eyes and bent towards the 
table. When he raised his head, which he did directly, there 
was a glitter in his eyes very like tears. " When I knew 
their uncle," he said, " he was living in a state of princely 
magnificence." The contrast evidently shocked him, but 
he said nothing more. However, the result was, that we 
were kindly treated by the Government, and every facility 
aflbrded us to get up the country. 

Mr. Simpson, before leaving Montreal, bought an estate 
at Augusta, midway on the banks of the St. Lawrence, 
between Prescott and Brockville, about sixty miles below 
Kingston, and below the Thousand Islands, the river being, 
as I believe, nearly a mile broad. The estate had upon it 
a good stone house, about eighty yards from the river, 
with convenient outhouses, barns, and a capital orchard 

* A name in use in Hampshire and Cornwall for fustian. The Lancashire 
form is " barragan ; "' in commerce it is " barracan," a strong, thick kind of 
camlet.—" English Dialect Dictionary." 



and garden. I was too young to know anything about the 
purchase, but I now can see it was a rash act to buy it, 
and to launch into the expenses which followed. But 
Mr. Simpson was a daring, sanguine man, and indulged in 
schemes that would have terrified a sober-minded one. 
These schemes, and their ultimate failure, I need not 
describe ; the only visible effect of them being, as far as 
I was concerned, my return to England, and the change 
that followed in my whole plan of life. 

We started on our journey to Upper Canada from the 
village of Lachine, which is situated on the end of the 
island of Montreal highest up the river. The Government 
supplied us with two Canadian bateaux, with five men in 
each, four oarsmen and a pilot, or steersman. Our baggage 
and ourselves filled these boats. This, at that time, was 
the chief mode of conveyance of merchandise and passengers. 
The Americans navigated the river in a different manner. 
The American Durham boat was much larjjer than the 
Canadian bateau, and had one large fore and aft sail, and 
was propelled by poles, the men putting the pole to the 
shoulder and stooping and crawling along a narrow 
passage on the gunwale, with transverse pieces of wood 
across it, against which they placed their feet and hands. 

In this manner they forced the vessel up the rapids, and 
against a head wind. The Canadian bateau had a temporary 
mast and a square sail, which was used when the wind 
was fair ; when it was foul, oars were used where the river 
was without rapids. At the rapids the boat was forced by 
poles used in a different manner from that of the American. 
Sometimes the boat was tracked by a rope, two men 
remaining on board, one astern, one in the bow, both using 

This mode of journeying was necessarily very slow, and 
we were therefore many days getting to our journey's end. 
At night we generally had to put up at some house on the 
bank of the river, being usually very hospitably received, 



paying, however, for our accommodation. One night — fine, 
luckily — we were on Lake St. FranQois, and, finding no 
house, had to rest for the night under an awning in the 
boat. All this, which was our first experience of our new 
life, was to us boys a scene of perfect enchantment. The 
weather was fine ; the great river on which we floated, and 
what to us appeared its wild shores, gave us never-ending 
delight. Everything was new, and, as far as we could see, 
all was beautiful. Young as we were, the future did not 
much trouble us ; nor were we yet touched with longing 
for home, which inevitably wrings the heart of every 
emigrant. But with minds prepared for adventure, we 
seemed to ourselves enacting the life of Robinson Crusoe, 
and nothing prosaic in any way dimmed the brilliant scene 
before us. 

We found the house upon our farm comfortable and 
roomy, built of stone, and capable of being rendered an 
agreeable and pleasant residence. That season called the 
" Indian summer " quickly followed our arrival, and this is 
perhaps the most beautiful and pleasant part of the whole 
Canadian year ; and we were at first very favourably 
impressed by the climate. 

I remained for the next four years at Augusta, taking 
my share in all the farm labours. But what I have now 
to do is to explain the effect that this new life had upon 
my mind and character. 

I may here describe my family, and relate shortly the 
history of all of them. 

The eldest of the emigrant family was my mother's 
mother. She died at Augusta, and is buried in the grave- 
yard attached to the Church of Engla,nd church that is 
situate about two miles down the river from our house on 
the road to Prescott. It stands on a pine-barren of about 
a mile broad, the land being left untilled and the pine trees 
left standing. It is a wild spot which I have often passed. 
The perfume of the pines in that wood still lives freshly in 



my memory. This old lady was to the day of her death of 
wondrous beauty. I looked on her face a few hours after 
her death, and then saw the truth of those lines of Byron — 

He who hath bent him o'er the dead, 
Ere the first day of death is fled. 

To my startled gaze a flush was upon her cheek ; age, 
and all trace of age, seemed to have vanished, the beauty 
of youth to have returned, and she whom I had always 
known as an ancient woman, appeared almost a girl. I 
did not look again. It would have been a bitter pain to 
have that fair vision succeeded by the look of age and 
death — for I loved her dearly. 

Of my mother I have already spoken. She died at 
Coteau-du-Lac, February 9, 1842. 

The next is Mr. Simpson, who long survived my mother, 
and married an American lady. He died at Brookville. 

My eldest brother was Richard, who had been sent to 
sea in his Majesty's service under Sir George Cockburn, 
who was an old East Indian friend of my mother's. 
Richard left the navy at the peace of 1814. He was ten 
and a half years old when he left home ; he was, con- 
sequently, very illiterate. The care that is now taken of 
the youngsters in our service was then unknown. When 
he returned, however, he soon felt his own deficiencies, and 
became an indefatigable reader, thereby acquiring a good 
deal of knowledge; but he could never regain the lost 

William, the second brother, went to Woolwich to 
study, so as to become either an engineer or of the artillery. 
He left the Academy in 1818, and joined the emigrant 
party. He married an American lady, and died, leaving 
a family, one of whom, the second daughter, I have seen. 
She is married, and happily settled. 

George, the third brother, had not left school when the 
time for our departure came. He joined us, and, upon the 



break-up at Augusta, vvent to the West Indies, to Antigua, 
where he shortly afterwards died. 

Benjamin came next — a bold, daring, harum-scarum 
boy, who could learn anything he chose, if only he applied 
his mind to the subject. He also left Canada at the same 
break-up; through the interest of our family obtained a 
commission in the East India Company's cavalry, returned 
to his birthplace, Madras, and died soon after at Seringa- 

I was the next. 

Then came Henry, who remained in Canada, and 
married. He died, leaving a widow, two sons, and a 

What I desire to do as regards the history of my life 
in Canada, is to explain the influence upon my character 
and fortunes of that period of my career. That the state 
of things in that country had an extraordinary efl'ect upon 
me, I well know; but I feel it difficult to explain this. 
A knowledge of the country, of its state and condition, is 
requisite to the understanding of the sort of influence 
exercised upon a boy of my antecedents and nature, and 
even that will hardly give a clue to the effect upon my 
mind of the circumstances by which I was surrounded. 
When I went to Canada I was .very young, and very 
ignorant, necessarily, of the world and its ways. I was, 
besides, in my hidden nature, very romantic, and living 
most of my time in dreamland. 

Never was anything so opposed to this way of thought 
and feeling as the society made up of my family. The 
strong, healthy young men and lads, who held in scorn 
every manifestation of sentiment, who laughed at emotion, 
constituted but a chilling and depressing atmosphere to 
anything approaching high feeling and exalted thought. 
They were, though boys, a set of cynical philosophers. 
The tone of the conversation was more that of disabused 
men of the world than a set of boys fresh from school. 


From what I then saw, from that example, I am led to 
believe that English schoolboy life has this tendency— that 
the general tone of thought and feeling created by an 
English boy's school damps imagination, chills all ardent 
aspirations, makes of children cold-blooded beings, who 
ridicule and contemn all expressions of great and generous 
maxims. And yet I believe that this mode of conversation 
was not an expression of the actual state of mind of those 
employing it, but that a dread of ridicule was the cause of 
all this cynical bearing. 

I was in the habit of constantly writing verse and 
prose, and I recollect well the dread that I felt lest my 
brothers should find these effusions, and bring them 
forward to be laughed at, and myself held up to ridicule. 
Yet, in spite of the felt and acknowledged difference 
between myself and my brothers, as years went on, my 
influence over them and the affairs of the family daily 
grew, and I was allowed, without much interference, to 
pursue my own course as it pleased me. My devotion to 
study met with a tacit approval, the more especially as 
it never took me away from daily work, which I per- 
formed as faithfully as any one of the others, and of which 
I took my share without shrinking. All my brothers 
grew to powerful men. I, on the contrary, was from the 
beginning small, frail, and, before I went to Canada, an 
invalid. My health there grew assured, but I never 
became strong. My knee always interfered with any 
great exertion, and, though I was agile and strong for my 
size, I could not have held my own with these sons of 
Anak had not my intellect helped. That came effectually 
to my aid, and before I left Canada I ruled the family. 

[Writing, in 1870, to a friend who had lost a brother, 
Mr. Roebuck said — 

I, too, have lost, or am about to lose, my only remaining 
brother— the loved companion of my infancy and youth, and 

■ llHi l ■! .J . 



whose death takes away from me the !,i?t member of that once 
glad party which was made up of six brothers. I, the sickly 
one, the one never expected to reach manhood, am now left alone, 
the last and miserable survivor of this once happy band. 

Exhorting the working-men of Sheffield to self-culture, 
in an address given to the Mechanics' Institute of that 
town (February 1, 1860), Mr. Roebuck sketched, under a 
transparent veil of anonymity, the mode of life in his 
Canadian home. 

I recollect in my early life meeting a man who had become 
an emigrant. He was one of a family born to wealth, reared \\\ 
luxury, and in this country accustomed to all the appliances 
which luxury can give. He emigi-ated with his family to America. 
He was compelled to apply himself to the mere ordinary occu- 
pations of gaining a livelihood as a farmer. Now, what did that 
family do ? They were composed of ladies and gentlemen of 
England. The mother of that family was a woman of great 
acquirements and ability. I recollect her perfectly well. I had 
every reason to know her well. She instituted a code in that 
family that I would recommend to every working man of my 
country. It was that there should be as much courtesy, good 
breeding, and every means that could promote the happiness of 
that family, though now reduced to the position of mere working 
men, as existed in it when they were of the gentry of England. 
I recollect that young man telling me that his mother never 
came into the room but every one of the children rose to salute 
her. They took out their library from England to America. 
They passed their time in the day in the ordinary occupation of 
working-men ; the evening they dedicated to intellectual enjoy- 
ment. Now, I want to know why the working-men of England 
cannot do that ?] 

I now desire to give a description of the country and 
its society, so far as that state of things influenced my 
mind and our fortunes. This description will be the 
result of my subsequent experience, reflecting my state of 
mind when I finally quitted Canada. 

The wild country, its great rivers, the vast scale upon 









which everything was framed, made on me a profound 
impression. The freedom in which we lived, the thorough 
liberty of going where we liked, the new scenes, brought 
with them a sort of enchantment. All efforts would fail 
were I to endeavour to describe them. 

The great river St. Lawrence lay before us, and was a 
never-failing source of adventure and delight. We built 
boats, rigged and sailed them unchecked, save by the 
nature of things. The primeval forest lay behind us, and 
in this we hunted and shot, undisturbed by game laws, or 
even by the will of neighbouring proprietors. 

William and myself were given to drawing. William, 
having a genius for that art, became a very pretty artist. 
Thus our time was spent in downright hard labour on the 
farm, and at the same time we retained many of the habits 
and manners of civilized life. 

We had a large and well-selected library of the English 
classics, which I read completely through, and what I read 
at that time left an indelible impression upon my memory, 
and gave whatever of mental power I have possefjsed 
in life. 

Society, we had little or none. The neigiibours were 
chiefly farmers with some second calling, such t«s store- 
keepers of different kinds. What we ought to have done 
was to have made friends with all these good people, and 
to have lived on neighbourly terms with them, asserting 
no airs of superiority, and if we possessed any knowledge 
or power which might have been useful, to have freely 
imparted it, and received from them much good advice in 
return, which their experience enabled them to give. We 
did none of these things. 

The population of the district mostly consisted of the 
descendants of those Americans who adhered to the side 
of the mother-country in the War of Independence. These 
people emigrated to Canada as being still an English 
possession, and were known as U.E.'s (United Englishmen). 



Tliey were in their habits and manners American, it being 
impossible to find any differeneo between them and the 
Americans on the other side of the river. On the Canadian 
side, however, there came constantly eraigi'ants, chiefly 
from Ireland, who, though nominally British subjects, 
hated England and everything English. The natives were 
not very favourable to the English dominion, and the 
consequence was, there were constant feuds springing up 
between us and the people about us. We were extremely 
English, and not at all backward in giving expression to 
our opinions. 

The life in that wild country had a marked effect upon 
my character. I never forgot England, and from the first, 
as a mere child, determined to return home and try my 
fortunes in the land of my fathers. The effect of the new 
life, the wild forests, the broad river., the roaming and 
almost wandering habits that were then contracted, — all 
worked upon my imagination, and made me bold and 

No one without experience can appreciate the effect of 
a life in the forests and wild country of America upon the 
mind, the character, and the emotions. I,, now old (seventy- 
five years), still feel emotions that result from the days of 
my boyhood passed in the rapturous freedom of the 
primeval forest, and on the bosom of the broad rivers 
of America. Even now when spring comes I sigh in- 
voluntarily for the enchanting pleasures enjoyed when 
winter broke, and joyous spring came with a bound, and 
loosened all the chains with which frost had bound us. 
The rivers were again open, and I rushed with wild 
delight in my canoe over the broad waters of the St. 
Lawrence. Day and night we fished and followed the 
wild fowl in the bays of the river, and the many streams 
that flowed into that magnificent world of waters. The 
sudden change from the dreary cold days of the winter 
to the genial warmth of summer was almost miraculous. 



At once, and ?ompletely, the whole face of nature was 
changed; the flowers started up in the forest, the birds 
suddenly appeared, and all nature was alive. The trees 
in a few days were covered with leaves. The most 
startling incident, however, was the wonderful change in 
the great river. To-day and to-night tae broad surface 
was one white sheet, over which horses and sleighs passed 
as upon the ground. Suddenly the wind came from the 
south ; a deluge of warm rain poured down ; a sound as if 
great guns were being let off was heard ; and through the 
night, commotion, turmoil, and a fierce storm of wind and 
rain. The morning broke in bright sunshine, and there, 
where was a desolate white plain, was now sparkling 
water; the ice was gone, and navigation was free. The 
summer was come ; all the work of agriculture was suddenly 
resumed. The change was like a stage transformation. 

One of my great pleasures was to seat myself under a 
fence with a book, and dream away hour after hour ; and 
now here in England, fifty years and more having passed 
over my head, and busy and active life passed away, when 
the cold spring returns my heart craves for the pleasure 
of those young days and gay hopes, bright sunshine, and 
dreamy musing. 

These were years of continuous steady study. I read 
and pored over the English classics day and night. I 
taught myself French, also a good deal of Latin.* 

[Addressing the boys of the SheflQeld Collegiate School 
on June 22, 1861, Mr. Roebuck said — 

If I had followed steadily and carefully the business of my 
own education, instead of pursuing it with the sort of enthusiasm 
— the madness with which I did, I should not now be what I 
am, an old man and yet a young one. I recollect perfectly well 
that I had a window looking upon the expanse of the St Lawrence, 
and when night came — my studies were usually pursued in winter 
* Italian was added some years after. 



— from my window I could sec the gront stars of heaven ; and I 
recollect to this lionr the pleasure I enjoyed in believing and 
knowing that every other soul was in bed. Tliore is a pleasure 
to the studious man in the small hours of the morning. He wants 
to do all that he possibly can to obtain the quiet that is then about 
him. My good mother used to come up into my room and say, 
" No, sir, yon must go to bed ; this will never do." If your 
mothers will do so to you, they will do you a benefit.] 

Ono thing never left my mind. In thought I constantly 
reverted to the memory of my ancestors. They had been 
distinguished in science and literature, and it always 
seemed to me possible that I might distinguish myself in 
England. I therefore formed the resolution of returning 
Itome, and determined to try my fortune at the Bar. How 
to do this was always in my thoughts, and at last, when I 
was about twenty or twenty-one, I started for London 
with £50 in my pocket. That I was allowed to do this 
seems to me now a wonder, and something worse. That 
I was not shipwrecked, and cast upon the world without 
hope, is now to me a marvel. I was indeed supported for 
some short time by uncertain remittances from Canada, 
but they failed utterly, and I was thrown upon my own 
unaided resources. 




( 25 ) 



RETURN TO ENGLAND. 1824-1832. 

In the year 1824 I cturne.1 to England from Canada. 
Among the friends of my mother's was the well-known 
scholar Thomas L. Peacock,* to whom I took a letter of 
introduction, and whom I found at the India House acting 
as what I believe is called a Political Examiner. After 
a short conversation, he said, " I think I can introduce 
you to a young friend of mine in this house who belongs 
to a (hsqiUsition set of young men"— I remember the word 
was new to me-«and you may find his acquaintance 
agreeable and useful." I at once expressed my willingness 
and he then took me to the room of John Mill, and after 
a few words of introduction left us together. Mill and I 
immediately entered into conversation, in which I laid 
myself entirely open, having, as I thought, nothing to 
conceal. Mill, I afterwards found, was cautious, and 
approached his own peculiar views with great precaution. 
Among other things, he told me that he was oi^e of a 
society called the Utilitarian Society, which met about 
once a week, at the house of Mr. Bentham, for the purpose 
of discussion. He told me that each member in turn read 
a paper, upon which a debate followed. 

Of the name of Bentham I was utterly ignorant. Of 
his tenets and philosophy I knew nothing. In fact I was 
perfectly ignorant of the political, social, and philosophic 

* See ante, p. 8. 




condition of Englanil and the world. I had read much, 
but without a guide, without a purpose; except the general 
on 3 of instructing myself, and I came into this, to me, new 
world, without knowing at all what I did by joining this 
body of young men. 

Mill put into my hands a small octavo manuscript, which 
was a description of the principles of the Utilitarian Societ}', 
and its rules. He offered to introduce me, and if, upon 
consideration, I acquiesced, he would propos.o me as a 

I little knew what an important influence that con- 
versation would have upon my future life. My reading, 
as I have alread}- said, was, for my age, extensive. Besides 
the advantage of my access to the well-selected library 
of my mother's husband, I was also free of the public 
library of Quebec, which had been founded under the 
advice of Priestley. The conscciuencc was that I was 
familiar with the greater part of English literature, had 
read all our poets, and many of our philosophers. 

I remember well brinirino- home to Beaufort, where we 
then lived, from Quebec a volume of th-c i^uarto edition 
of Locke, and sitting up late into the night reading it, 
when I was disturbed by my mother, and desired to go 
to bed. She looked to see what I was reading, and found 
it to be the " Essay on the Human Understanding." She 
turned over the leaves, and asked what possible good there 
was in that sort of matter. I had then, as I should have 
now, much difficulty in finding an answev.f 

To return to my interview with Mill. After some 

* For J. S. Mill's ftccount of the Utilitariiin Society bco his " Auto- 
biograpliy,"' p, 79. 

t Note by J. A. R. — I put pretty nearly the same question to Grote the last 
time I ever conversed with him. We were dining with the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer (Disraeli) on the Qucen'a birthday. Wo were speaking of the 
work that Grote was tl\en about, viz. Aristotle, when I asked him if ho 
thought any real good roaulted from tliat sort of inquiry, and Jo, os I, was 
much puzzled for an answer. 




further talk, iic asked mo if I should like to sec the 
museum, and took me there. In going throUj^h it, I was 
struck with his knowledge— its variety, and, as far as I 
could judge, its extent. At that time I had not seen his 
father's "History of India," and thr"gh born in India, and 
connected with it through members of my family, I knew 
ver}^ little about its condition and history. Mill appeared 
familiar Avith every subject that the contents of the 
museum suggested, and explained everything that we 
came across. I left greatly struck with the remarkable 
person I had met. 

My first visit to the Utilitarian Society I shall never 
forget. It met in a low, half-furnished, desolate sort of 
room— I believe the dining-room of the house, not Mr. 
Bentham's dining-room. The place was lighted by a few 
tallow candles. A desk was drawn across the end of the room, 
at which desk sat the chairman, and some half-dozen young 
men sat in chairs round the room, and formed the society! 
The essay was a critique for some review of an edition of 
a Greek author. It was written and read by a young 
man named Harfield, and appeared to give general satis"^ 
faction. Mill told me it was a sort of trial piece, and was 
intended to test the capacity of Harfield to be the editor 
of some review. 

On that evening I met for the first time the friend of 
my life, George J. Graham. Ho walked with me towards 
my then homo, vdiich was in Islington. He lived in 
Gray's Tpu V7 ^ yere accompanied part of the way by 
a young luan. named Place.* We stopped at the door of 

* Fmncis Plr-e, the onec well-known Ratli,->1 - 'iticiau of Charing 
Cross. He w s i sort of right-hand man to Bent;...... to James Milf, 

and the mcvirg power behind tlvo "Philosophical Radicals." Place, having 
becu bom in 1771, was Roebuck's senior by thirty-one years. For au 
account of him see the article in tlio " Dictionary of National Biography," 
by Mr. Graham Wdlas, who is also now writing his life. There are some 
interosting references to Place in Ilolyoake's •• .^Jxty Years of an Agitator's 
Life," vol, i. p. 215. 



a house in Charing Cross, and I well remember the shock 
which my pride received when, looking up, I saw the name, 
"Place, Tailor," over the door! This was my first ex- 
perience in democracy. 

I eventually became a member of the society, and 
being greatly struck with the works of Bentham* and 
James Mill, I, in fact, became also a pupil of John Mill, 
who, although younger than myself, was far in advance of 
me in philosophy and politics. 

From this time our intimacy increased day by day, and 
was strengthened by the fact that Graham and myself 
became sworn friends — brothers, in fact — and with John 
Mill formed a triumvirate which we laughingly called the 
" Trijackia," all of us being named John. 

I found that Mill, although possessed of much learn- 
ing, and thoroughly acquainted with the state of th ' 
political world, was, as might have been expected, the 
mere exponent of other men's ideas, those men being his 
father and Bentham ; and that he was utterly ignorant of 
what is called society; that of the world, as it worked 
around him, he knew nothing ; and, above all, of woman, 
he was as a child. He had never played with boys; in 
his life he had never known any, and we, in fact, who were 
now his associates, were the first companions he had ever 
mixed with. His father took occasion to remark to myself 
especially, that he had no great liking for his son's new 

* It is to be regretted that Mr. Roebuck does r.ot tell us more of bis 
associatiou with Bentham. He became something of a favourite with the old 
philosopher, who foresaw the mark his young friend would one day make in 
the world. The short notes from Roebuck to Bentham, preserved among tho 
Bentham manuscripts at tho British Museum, relate only to such matters as 
invitations to dinner ; but they always contain assurances of the " very great 
respect " with which the young disciple signs his acceptances to dinner " at 
the usual hour." There is a playfully aftectionate reference to Roebuck in 
Browning's " Life of Bentham," vol. xi. p. 81 : "I have been catching fish," 
Bentham said one day. " I have caught a carp. I shall hang him up, feed him 
with bread and milk. He shall be my tame puss, and shall play about on 
tlie floor. But I have a new tamo puss. I will make Roebuck my puss for 
his article on Canada, and many a mouse t' all he catch." 






friends. I, on the other hand, let him know that I had no 
fear of him who was looked upon as a sort of Jupiter 
Tonans. James Mill looked down on us because we were 
poor, and not greatly allied, for while in words he was a 
severe democrat, in fact and in conduct he bowed down to 
wealth and position. To the young men of wealth and 
position who came to sec him he was gracious and 
instructive, while to us he was rude and curt, gave us no 
advice, but seemed pleased to hurt and offend us. This 
led to remonstrance and complaint on the part of John 
Mill, but the result was that we soon ceased to see John 
Mill at his home. Our chief point of rewnion was the 
house of George Grote, Mrs. Grote being the means of 
bringing us together. She was kind and courteous, and was 
always ready by kind words and winning, pleasant manner, 
to render her house an agreeable and really instructive 
centre of meeting.* 

[At times interruption to work came in the shape of 
severe attacks of illness, brought on by a chill in 1825, the 
effects of which did not pass away for many years, as 
neuralgia settled in the knee already weakened by injury 
in childhood, and though Roebuck was active and a swift 
walker, the long expeditions into the country, taken at this 
period with J. S. Mill f and others, did not tend to mend 
matters. One day's walk, especially, of forty miles caused 
weoks, if not months, of suffering. 

On the outbreak of the French Revolution of 1830, after 
the news of the " three days of July," Roebuck, Mill, G. J. 
Graham, and others hastened to Paris, filled with enthusiasm 
and hope for France. Mr. Roebuck, years afterwards, 

* Mill's account is that the gatherings at Grote's were not meetings of the 
Utilitarian Society, tliough consisting largely of the same gi'oup (see his 
" Autobiography," p. 1 ID). 

t On these country excursions J. S. Mill would fill his pockets with sweet 
violet seed, and scatter it iu the hedges as he went along. 




described how this company of young Englishmen, thinking 
only of great and wide measures of constitutional govern- 
ment, were taken aback, and not a little disappointed at 
the state of mind of the French Liberal leaders. One man 
they found completely occupied with the arrangement of 
the uniform of the National Guard, especially of what 
shape the new cockade should be ; others changing the 
names of the streets, and most of them intriguing for 

On the occasion of Louis Philippe's first visit to the 
opera, these young Englishmen happened to be present, 
and they presently began to shout for " La Marseillaise," 
in which th<^ house joined ; and then they shouted " Debout, 
debout ! " 1 til the whole audience, including the king 
himself, aco ,tood up during the playing of the 

revolutionary tu-r T 

Thus time went on, great events in the world occurred, 
and our reform opinions seemed about to be tested in 
earnest. The French Kevolution of July occurred. The 
English Reform Bill followed, and we all three* rushed 
into the torrent, and were as mad and ardent as youth, 
energy, and sincere belief in our opinions could make us. 

The Reform Bill having become law, and I, having 
been very active in the many proceedings which attended 
the passing of that measure, became known to many public 
men, and, among others, to Joseph Hume, who at that 
time was a man of great mark and power. Many of the 
new constituencies created by the Reform Bill had great 
confidence in him ; among others, the City of Bath showed 
that confidence by asking him to select for them a man 
whom they might send as their representative to Parlia- 
ment. He sent them down three names, of which mine 
was one, and, I know not for what reason, the choice 
of the Liberal majority fell upon me. Before this, 
* Iloebuek, Mill, and Graham. 



Hume went down to Bath and introduced me to the 

I had for many years been training myself for a 
politician, and especially did I study public speaking. 
I acquired great facility, and striking and incisive powers 
of speech. I also formed for myself a political scheme, 
so that I came before the public armed at all points, a 
trained politician. This procured for me success; and 
eight years after I had set foot in England, unknown in 
life's difficult journey, I became, by my own efforts, a 
Member of the British Parliament. 

fit will be observed that Mr. Koebuck says he does not 
know for what reason the choice of the Liberals of Bath 
fell upon him. Miss Roebuck shows how it came to pass 
that he enlisted the sympathies of at least one partisan. 
She writes — 

My mother used to te 1 how one morning, on entering the 
breakfast-room, her brother, Thomas Falconer, called out, " Here, 
Henrietta, look at these letters ; they are from candidates for 
Bath." She took up the letters, looked at each, then, holding out 
one, said, " This is the one to choose ; the letter is well written, 
and in the hand of a gentleman." It was signed, " J. A. Roebuck." 
The day after my father and Mr. Hume arrived in Bath. They 
were brought in procession, with band playing and flags flying, to 
my grandfather's [the Rev.Thomas Falconer's] house in the Circus.* 

On the way up the hill at the back of the Circus, my father 
saw a young lady standing with other persons, looking over the 
garden wall at the crowd. Some one at my father's elbow said, 
" That is Miss Falconer." 

By the time the procession reached No. 29, the lady was in 
the drawing-room, and there my father and mother first met. 

* " We arrived," Mr. Roebuck wrote, " on August 20, and went to the 
White Hart, where a crowd quickly collected under the windows, shouting. 
Hume, who was having a cup of tea, said, • I don't know what to say to these 
people, Roebuck; just put your head out of window and say something 
to them,' which I did ; and tliis was my first appearance before tlie people 
of Bath." 



Thus Mr. Koebuck found at Bath not only a seat in 
Parliament, but also a wife, who was his loving helper and 
loyal champion through all the strain and stress of his long 
and combative life.* 

Mr. Mill t gives us a glimpse of the sedulous manner in 
which Mr. Roebuck cultivated striking and incisive powers 
of speech. He says — 

There was for some time in existence a society of Owenites, 
called the Co-operative Society, which met for weekly public 
discussions in Chancery Lane. In the early part of 1825, 
accident brought Roebuck in contact with several of its members, 
and led to his attending one or two of the meetings, and taking 
part in the debate in opposition to Owenism. Some one of us 
started the notion of going there in a body, and having a general 
battle ; and Charles Austin and some of his friends, who did not 
usually take part in our joint exorcises, entered into the project. 

It wa" ''.irried out, and many animated discussions 
with the Owenites followed. This led to Mill and his 
friends forming a debating society, which held its meetings 
at Freema ii's i-'av^ern. Roebuck was one of the most 
steadfast members. 

Mr. Roebuck was in the habit, at a later period, of 
referring to the care with which he trained himself for 
his parliamentary career. At Sheffield, in acknowledging 
the presentation of 1100 guineas, made to him on Sep- 
tember 3, 1856, "in recognition of his great national 
services, and in memorial of his work as a Liberal, 
patriotic, and distinguished statesman," he said — 

I ask myself what it is that has given me the present occasion 
of returning you my thanks. It is not talent, it is not name, 
it is not rank, it is not wealth. What is it, then ? It is stead- 
fastness in that course which I marked out for myself in the 
beginning. I am proud to say that in the year 1832 I published 

* He was married to Miss Falconer on January 14, 1834, at Walcot 
Church, Bath. 

t "Autobiography," p. 123. 




a programme of the opinions I then held. I had prepared myself 
for a public life. I had then formed my opinions. I consigned 
them to paper. I printed them, and to them I now adhere. 
That which I said in 1832 I say now; and it is my thorough 
and steadfast adherence to the opinions which I then expressed 
that has won for me the approbation of my countrymen. . . . 
Oomg into Parliament, unknown, unsupported, only recom- 
mended by that tried friend of the people, Joseph Hume, I 
determined not to ally myself with either of the -roat parties that 
then divided the House of Commons and the kingdom. I was 
neither Whig nor Tory, and I went into the House of Commons 
determined to advocate that which I believed to be for the 
interests of the people, without regard to party considerations. 
To that rule I have adhered through life. 

The following letter is quoted to illustrate Mr. Roebuck's 
habit of seizing everj opportunity of studying political 
questions, not only in their theoretical, but in their 
practical bearing. It also throws an interesting light on 
what would now be called the "Gerrymandering" per- 
petrated under the Reform Act, as well as the sordid 
views taken in small southern constituencies of the en- 
largement of the franchise. 

'/. A. Rocluclc fo Fj-aack Place. 

Mudefonl, near ChnHMmrch, HaaU, Matf 2 183-> — My 
DEAR Father Place, Here I am, poor devil l' in the* most 
doleful banishment. I might almost as well be in New South 
Wales-at the New Colony that is to be-as here, as to every- 
thing respecting politics. I see no papers but the Examiner, 
and my people, poor wretches ! know nothing. However for 
my health's sake this am I condemned to, which said health 
IS but a very little, if any, better. The weather has been 
wretcliedly cold, and my pains as great as ever. So I deem 
myself in Castle Dolorous. 

I am living within a stone's throw of Sir George Rose's 
noimnation borough of Christchurch, and if the Bill works no 
better elsewhere than here, we are making a mighty pother 
about nothing. The sapient Sir John RomiUy was here as 





Commissioner (I understand) with Colonel Anncrsley, a high Tory, 
and from all that I can learn, the Whig Commissioner could not 
understand the interests of the various parties here. As might 
be expected, the inhabitants do not wish to be disfranchised, or 
even to lose one member, and, consequently. Liberals even strove 
hard to raise the numbers of the inhabitants. The Tory Com- 
missioner took advantage of this, and made the mayor amend 
his report of the numbers of the £10 householders, which he did 
to the satisfaction of the Tory ; that is, he preserved one of the 
members by increasing the number of inhabitants a hundred 
beyond his first report. This was done by much squeezing, 
including places that ought not to have been included. I vehe- 
mently suspect that if the householders of Christchurch alone 
were numbered, it would prove a very pitiful show. It was 
Romilly's duty to have made this out, as everything ought to 
have been done to prove the real disproportion existing between 
the town and country representation. It is not that I object to 
including these out places liermfkr, and increasing to the utmost 
the constituency ; but I do object to including them now, because 
every means ought to be taken to lessen the number of boroughs, 
and the only way to do this was to prove as many as possible 
utterly insignificant and contemptible as to numbers of in- 
habitants. Well, now, suppose the borough reformed : the in- 
habitants are all stout reformers. Why ? Because they hate 
Sir George Rose. He has tyrannized over them, and they would 
be freed from his yoke. But they by no means desire to be 
represented in the hopes of being well governed. What they 
desire is to be well paid by the candidates, and for this reason 
they dislike the ballot. Their short-sightedness is wonderful ; 
they hope to pass from the hands of Sir George Rose into those 
of Sir George Tapps, who is the greatest landholder here. And 
so they will. They have so managed the matter that the 
borough is noAV made to include his lands and his tenants. Sir 
George Tapps is a reformer too, after this fashion. He speaks to 
them fair, promises to lay out money on the harbour, to protect 
the inhabitants, to get laws passed for them, etc., and the fools 
believe him. They say he is a good man, not a harsh man like 
Sir George Rose. And then he will not have the power. No ; 
nor had Sir George Rose the power when first he came here. 
(If you see John Mill, ask him to show you my letter to him. 



I have there explained how Sir George Rose's power was acquired.) 
Now, for the chance of a bribe these foolish people are en- 
deavouring to play a game of balance. In doing so, they will 
trust Whig professions, and again be cheated. One thing I see 
works strongly with the bourf/m.sic here. They hate and fear 
the poor. They have hitherto played the tyrant over the poor 
iu their damned select vestry. They have dinners, etc., all after 
the old fashion of the select, and are just as great rascals in their 
way as the aristocracy in theirs. Looking at reform, then, hero 
in the niost favourable point of view, it appears a victory of the 
bourgeoisie over the aristocrats. In my opinion it will be, even 
to them, a temporary benefit— to the people none at all. I have 
not yet been able to move about, so that I am in ignorance of the 
condition of the poor here. The moment I get better I shall 
hunt them out.] 






I HAVE often bethought me whether it was possible to 
draw the character of Mill intellectually and morally. 
The difficulties of the task I fully appreciate, but my 
intimate knowledge and converse with him was just at 
the most important epoch of his life; and an account of 
my connection with him may possibly contribute to a true 
appreciation of the man. 

John Mill was the result of a most strict and extra- 
ordinary training. He was armed at all points. At that 
time the mere creation of his father's teaching, with 
nothing original, yet being endowed with great intel- 
lectual power, he was a wonderful product of factitious 
training. From his childhood to his manhood he received 
the ideas of other men, and gave them expression in 
language that was but an echo of those who taught him. 
Under this guidance, severe and harsh, he acquired a vast 
quantity of knowledge. He became early acquainted with 
classic literature, all which he received rather as a know- 
ledge-acquiring machine than as a human being in whom 
there were emotions. In his childhood and youth he had 
no playfellows. He walked and talked with his father as 
if he had been a man receiving all by his head, his heart 
not being concerned in the matter. When at length nature 
asserted her rights, he found himself upon a wild, wide 
turbulent ocean, without a chart, almost without a compass. 



But during all this time ho never doubted as to his own 
infallibility. Whatever he thought at the time was right ; 
but whatever might be the change in him, he was never 
wrong. A very comfortable condition of things, but not 
as satisfactory to others as himself. Practical life was to 
him wholly unknown. He could talk wisely about Man 
in the abstract ; but of Man, including therein Woman, he 
knew absolutely nothing. 

When Mill began to think for himself, he was anxious 
to show that his mind was no longer under the dominion 
of his father, or of Bentham. He therefore placed himself 
before the world as an independent critic, and took every 
occasion that offered to enter into disquisition upon the 
views of Bentham, and consequently of his father, who 
always agreed with Bentham, and was deemed his chief 
disciple and exponent. 

But John Mill took especial care to confine his criticism 
to Bentham, and always avoided calling in question the 
views of his father. This led him, in my mind, to much 
wavering and uncertainty ; and he wanted one main quality 
for an original thinker, and that was courage. 

Among other things, in order to show his severance 
from his old ideas and mode of thought, he now professed 
to be greatly swayed by the influence of Poetry. 

It is one of the common mistakes respecting the doctrine 
of Utility, and the ideas and feelings of so-called Utili- 
tarians, that they despise and neglect all that softens 
manners and charms the imagination, and thus they are 
supposed to contemn Poetry, to take no pleasure in the arts, 
and, in fact, to be the future of the Puritans of old. 

Now, to all this misconception I can give a complete 
answer in my own case. From childhood upwards I have 
been passionately fond of and influenced by Poe : \ I read 
the greater portion of our poets to my mother when a boy, 
and during my life have passed many hours in drawing 
from nature, and was, I may say, no mean amateur artist. 



Mill knew this common misconception, and he took to 
reading and criticising poetry. But in reality he never 
had poetic emotions, and the lessons of his early childhood 
and youth had chilled his heart and deadened his spirit 
to all the magnificent influences of poetry. In his late 
biography he has endeavoured to make it appear that our 
difi'erence arose from our different appreciation of the com- 
parative merits of Byron and Wordsworth. But this was 
an idle statement ; something far more potent was requi; 
to break up so old and warm a friendship. 

For, indeed, another new influence came suddenly upon 
Mill, viz. that of 'Wo'nian. Hitherto he had known only 
his mother and sisters, and had but a poor and contemptuous 
opinion of the sex. 

As we — that is. Mill, Graham, and I — were always 
together, and formed a united body, we were generally 
together in society. 

It happened that we all three were invited to dine in 
the City at the house of a gentleman named Taylor, who 
was what is called a drysalter, a very respectable and well- 
to-do man. I do not recollect what passed that evening 
but it turned out that ]Mrs. Taylor was much taken wi 
Mill. From that time I saw little of the Taylor family, 
but I learned that an intimate acquaintance had arisen 
between Mill and Mrs. Taylor. 

This intimacy went on, I seeing and knowing nothing 
of it, till on the occasion of an evening party at Mrs. 
Charles Buller's, I saw Mill enter the room with Mrs. Taylor 
hanging upon his arm. 

The manner of the lady, the evident devotion of the 
gentleman, soon attracted universal attention, and a 
suppressed titter went round the room. My affection for 
Mill was so warm and so sincere that I was hurt by 
anything which brought ridicule upon him. I saw, or 
thought I saw, how mischievous might be this affair, 
and as we had become in all things like brothers, I 

yoHx sru.iKT mil/.. 



iletoniunc<l, ino^t unwisely, to apeak to liim on the 

Witli this resohition I went to the India House next 
<lay, ami then frankly told him what I thought might 
result from his connection with Mrs. Taylor. IIo received 
my warnings coldly, and after some time I took my leave, 
little thinking what effect my renumstrances had produced. 

The next day I again called at the India House, not 
with any intention of renewing the subject, but in accord- 
ance with a long-formed habit of constantly seeing and 
conversing with Mill. The moment I entered the room I 
saw that, as far as he was concerned, our friendship was at 
an end. His manner was not merely cold, but repulsive ; 
and I, seeing how matters were, left him. His part of our 
friendship was rooted out, nay, destroyed, but mine was 
left untouched. My affection for him continued unbroken 
to the day of his death. For years I saw him not, and had 
no correspondence with him. For this I was very grieved. 
My afi'ection for him, as I have said, was very sincere, and 
I was always grateful for his instruction and kindness. I 
was also vexed with myself. I thought myself knowing in 
the ways of men, and I knew, and ought to have acted on that 
knowledge, that where a woman was concerned, the wisest 
of men are but fools ; and that more especially one so little 
conversant with women or the world would be a slave to 
the first woman who told him she liked him. Mill's 
intellect bowed down to the feet of Mrs. Taylor. He 
believed her an inspired philosopher in petticoats ; and as 
she had the art of returning his own thoughts to himself, 
clothed in her own words, he thought them hers, and 
wondered at her powers of mind, and the accuracy of 
her conclusions. He, upon the death of Mr. Taylor, 
married the widow, and when, some years afterwards, she 
died, he gave expression to his estimate of her in, I 
believe, a dedication to her memory in some sentences 
prefixed to one of his works. He fondly loved her, was 




inconsolable for her loss, and survived her a few years, 
living a sorrowful life. 

When he was returned for Westminster, I approached 
him in the House, and offered any assistance that my long 
experience could afford. He received me coldly, though 
I had taken part in his election and very materially con- 
tributed to his return. I asked him to dine with me and 
Graham, for the sake of *' Auld lang Syne ; " he excused 
himself, saying that he was so much engaged he had not 
time. I felt the meaning of this, and made no further 
advances. Some short time before his death he sent me 
an old school Virgil of mine which somehow had come into 
his possession. On the receipt of the book, I wrote to him, 
and the wording of that letter took him by surprise, and 
he said he had been unaware of my feeling of affection 
towards him. All looked as if our old friendship would be 
renewed, when, unhappily, this hope was brolcen off by his 
untimely death. 

The autobiography ends here. Mill's version of the 
breach not only differs from Roebuck's as to the cause, but 
places it at an earlier date, for according to Roebuck it 
occurred after he had entered Parliament. Mill says * the 
severance arose from a difference of opinion as to the 
respective merits of Wordsworth, whom he championed, 
and Byron, whose writings Roebuck regarded as the poetry 
of human life, while Wordsworth's was that of flowers and 
butterflies. They fought out the question at the Debating 
Society, this being the first time when he and Roebuck 
took opposite sides. 

The schism between us widened from this time more and 
more, though we coutiuued for some years longer to be com- 
panions. In tht beginning our chief divergence related to the 
cultivation of the feelings. Roebuck was in many respects very 

ii< « 

Autobiograpliy," p. 14P. 



70//N STl/ART MILL. 4, 

different from the vulgar notion of a Benthamite or Utilitarian. 
He was a lover of poetry and of most of the line arts. He took 
great pleasure m nnisic;, in dramatic performances, especially in 
paiutmg, and himself drew and designed landscapes with great 
facdity and beauty. But he never could be made to see that 
tnese things any value as aids in the formation of character. 
Personally mstead of being, as Benthamites are supposed to be, 
void of feelmg, he had very ,iuick and strong sensibilities. But, 
like most Lnghshmeu who have feelings, he found his feelings 
stand very much in his way. Jle was much more susceptible 
to the painful sympathies than to the pleasurable, and lookin- 
tor his happiness elsewhere, he wished that his feelings should 

be deadened rather than quickened He saw little good in 

any cultivation of the feelings, and none at all in cultivating 
them through the imagination, which he thought was only 
cultivating illusions. ^ 



^ .„ U^ .i 






Bath — fashionable, exclusive, sedate Bath — was flung into 
ii turmoil of affronted indignation when, ea ' in August, 
1832, rumours reached its aristocratic ears the , its placidity 
was to be invaded, and its domestic electoral affairs 
disturbed, by the descent upon it of Radical firebrands. 
Constituencies are usually jealous of outside interference, 
and that Bath, of all places in the kingdom, should be 
selected as the chosen striking-point of Radical attack, was 
regarded as an unpardonable outrage by all self-respecting 
lovers of composure. The indignation aroused was changed 
to absolute fury when these whispers took definite shape, 
and it became known that ]\Ir. Joseph Hume cherished the 
" inconceivable audacity," as it was called, of attempting to 
make Bath his own faggot constituency by forcing upon 
it Mr. John Arthur Roebuck.* Distance lent horror 

* Although Mr. Hume waB held resiionsible for forcing Mr. Roebuck upon 
Bath, the real motive-power behind this, as behind all the then activities of 
the Radicals, was Mr. Francis Place. It is impossible to read his voluminous 
correspondence without seeing how largely he inspired and stimulated the 
aggressive policy of the militant group. His was the liand which pulled 
unrelentingly the strings in this Bath contest, as in other details of the move- 
ment. For this memorandum is preserved among his papers : — 

" October 10, 1832. — In consequence of the electors of Bath not thinking 
Mr. Hobhouse enough of a reformer, they made application to mo and to . 
Jlr. Hume for another candidate, and. Mr. Roebuck having been recommended, 
be went to Bath and opposed Mr. Hobhouse. This led to a most furious 
attack ujion Mr. Hume, and induced mo to write a papor, which was printed 
in the Bath and Cheltenham Chronicle, and a letter also to Simon Barron, 



to Mr. Roebuck's personality. Vaguely regarded as a 
dangerous revolutionary, he was credited with the cham- 
pionship of every hateful principle. Associated, as he was 
supposed to be, with all evil doers, bent on dragging the 
constitution into the mire, the notion of his candidature 
was abhorred hardly less heartily by those who had rendered 
hfe-service to a timid Liberalism than by the Tories them- 

Thus it came to pass that, active as was the ferment 
caused by the General Election under the new suffrage, 
nowhere was there greater excitement and fiercer animosity 
than in Bath. It had been thought that the re-election of 
General Palmer, who, as a moderate reformer, had repre- 
sented the city since 1808, was a matter of course. With 
him was to be associated, as a colleague, Mr. H. W. Hobhouse, 
who, besides having local connections, was an estimable 
member of an influential Whig family. They were excellent 
candidates, from the "rest and be thankful " point of view, 
for General Palmer was supposed to have reaped, in the 
Reform Act, the harvest of his Radical wild oats, and 
Mr. Hobhouse was a Whig of the most orthodox type. 

This comfortable arrangement was shattered by the 
action of the Radicals, and the fame of the contest that 
ensued still remains a living memory in Bath. From the 
time when Mr. Roebuck's candidature began, to the 
announcement of tlie result of the poll, the city was in 
a state of constant turmoil. The new-comer had, among 
other objections, to encounter the idle criticism of being 
too young, for his slight figure and extremely fair com- 
plexion suggested an age nearer to twenty than to thirty. 
But his opponents quickly found that, youthful as he 
looked, they were face to face with a man of power. From 
the first he gave forth no uncertain sound. He quickly 
showed unusual capacity for stirring up quiet waters, and 

chairman of Mr. Hobhoiiee's committee, with a narrutiou of wliat passed at 
an interview with Mr. Hobhouso." ^ *^ 






for making dead bones live. In his various addresses and 
speeches he declared himself an earnest supporter of the 
most advanced creeds. He advocated triennial Parliaments, 
vote by ballot, corporation reform, an elective magistracy^ 
free trade, the abolition of the legal monopoly enjoyed by 
the Inns of Court, a national system of secular education, 
disestablishment of the Church and devotion of its property 
to secular uses, repeal of the taxes on knowledge, cheaper 
and more efficient administration of justice, equitable 
adjustment of taxation — making it direct, and so graduated 
as to proportion the burden to tlio .strength of the shoulders 
bearing it — the removal of all civil and religious disabilities, 
and the abolition of slavery. 

All the intluences of purse and position were against 
him. His great power lay in the enthusiasm his cause 
evoked among the poor. It is necessary to realize the 
bitter hatred against Whig and Tory government which 
rankled among the working classes, before we can under- 
stand the enthusiasm with which they received the " man 
of the people," or the furious violence of capitalists at his 
intrusion. Although steadfastly declining to make any 
personal canvass, Mr. Roebuck spent, during the earlier 
period of the contest, much of his time in the city, and was 
indefatigable in the business of the election. His speeches 
are still remembered as among the best examples of his 
pungent eloquence that Bath ever heard. His genius for 
unanswerable invective, provoked by shameful abuse, was 
copiously illustrated. For as there were no limits to the 
unscrupulous misrcpieseutations — including the invention 
of a fictitious mad grandfather — of his opponents, so there 
was no decency observed in the fashion in which they 
imputed to him opinions he had never held. He was 
charged with being a Republican and an Atheist. He 
was subjected to interrogations on his religious belief 
which were indecent and almost blasphemous. The news- 
papers teemed with lampoons, and the meetings at which 

;.,fc. n.r, ■■n>wU--"i->--ii^" 

' ^ ^ *>|>| mw < "^ r*- 





Mr. Roebuck stood at bay aj^ainst his hecklers, smiting 
them hip and thigh, were like bear-gardens. All these 
things are written at length in the history of Bath, and 
in their details do not concern us here. When Mr. Roebuck 
was not in the city, the strife hurtled around the heads of 
his supporters ; and of the social and domestic discomforts 
endured by them wo get a glimpse in the following letter 
addressed to Mr. Alexander Falconer, but evidently intended 
for his sister's eye. 

J. A. Rochvrh to Alcxdiider P. Falconer. 

15, Gnnffi Inn Square, November 8, 1H;52. — By the regular and 
interesting despatches we receive through the kind exertions of 
yourself and Miss Falconer, I am put au fait of all that is pro- 
ceeding with you, and, being at a distance, am enabled to judge 
more coolly, and therefore more accurately, than those who are 
in the thick of the fight, of the complexion which matters have. 
One thing in all I hear gives me infinite pain, and that is, that 
your wann and unflinching support of me subjects you to a 
species of martyrdom. I well know what this is. The rage and 
bitter disappointment now raging time will diminish, and in the 
meanwhile lie snug ; let the wind blow and the rain fall till they 
are tired. The very strength of the tempest ensures a quick end 
to it. In a very few weeks all will be calm and sunshine. This 
to me appears tlie wisest course. You are committed now ; no 
one can doubt your leanings and wishes, and they will rave and 
rend at you so long as they are angry. That this will pain you 
I know ; that you will be subject to much annoyance is but too 
certain. That this should be on my account, while it makes me 
grateful, at the same time is exquisitely painful. That your 
quiet family should be disturbed by political strife ; your calm 
seclusion invaded and destroyed by raging partisans, is an evil 
not to be compensated, I fear, by any benefit tliat I can render 
to the good and great cause. In my own case, this strife is 
almost a part of my daily toil ; I am alone, and do not mind it. 
I have prepared myself for it — have become a species of political 
athlete, and deem it my business. The abuse, the anger of my 
opponents, are to me utterly insignificant ; but they cannot be 
BO to you, surrounded as you are. It is this consideration that 



I ! 


makes me unliappy ; and I bat vainly seek a refuge from the evil. 
Do we not pay a high price for the beuetits we obtain ? If we 
lie still in dread of all this violence and passion and ill-will, then 
are we trampled into the earth, bruised and crushed. If we seek 
to relieve ourselves from this condition, the pleasures of private 
life are destroyed, and, like troops of fierce horses, we worry our- 
selves to death. Which is the greater evil ? Mankind have 
generally accepted the first half of the alternative, and not till 
they have found that utterly untenable, have they dared to face 
the second. You are now facing the second, and seem to have 
a bitter dose. I pray yon, my good fellow, to take my advice, 
and keep out of the way of those who differ from you, and do 
not let them disturb your peace. 

A few weeks now, and the matter will be ended. On the 3rd 
of December the Parliament will be dissolved, and in a very few 
days after, the election will take place. The moment the disso- 
lution is declared, I shall be among you. In the mean time state 
that I am ready to go to you whenever the committee shall 
desire me to do so. 

I feel throughout my writing, as if my letter ought to have 
been addressed to your indefatigable sister ; 'tis from her letters * 
that the Bath history comes to me, and, like many other narra- 
tives of political deeds, the merits of the style are far beyond the 
subject matter on which it is employed. Would that she had a 
pleasanter or more worthy theme. I have a theory on this 
matter, that I suspect, from a passage in one of her letters, 
coincides with her views of the question. She says in substance 
that she believes that women are not fit for politics ; that men 
alone should take part in them. I do not agree with her here — 
that is, with the whole of this thus broadly stated. The best 
and most gentle of women have mingled in politics. Witness 
many in our own country during the wars against Charles I., 
and, above all, witness the incomparable IMadame Iloland. But 
what may have been in her mind when she said this, and what 
I suspect from the attending sentence to have been there, I do 
thoroughly agree in ; it is, that it would be well, if possible, to 
keep from the sight of women all the bad passions, the many 
degrading spectacles that political life but too often evinces, and 
for this reason : men in their commerce with the world become 
* Written to her brother, Thomas Falconer, in London. 


necoasary tendency, it would be >v.M ■,"!', '' '" ™""te~t tWs 
not thus hardoned-u soe°e v wiH '"^ """'' "'"'' ■■> »°«i'=ty 

freshness and strength 1" f ! ' '^T"""^ '" ""='' P"''''''" 
perfect education, keep women ^f'nl ""I ' "' " '^™»'»'«'" '""i 
»Wfo. This is tl^e o^r 1 " °, r ',''f ' '""' »"'"'" P"""'"'" 
a "-sh, against givin^ o ltZT\ ,"'■' ^ ™"''' "■'■■• ""'I "orth 
'iem into aeti™ e°ereL™?X •"!'"" ""'"»• ""'' '" «»«'■%' 
rooml essay, and not a lette, """"■"■■ ' ""■ ™""S a 

'V"'mg has often p°„,ded „,'e X n ''"-■' "' ™'"™ '" '""or- 
i' man worth reading _ Byront trt,^ "™'™'' """^ """'•'" ^1 
letters of many womeS I haw?,, ','" ™''<^Ptol - while the 
of good taste aad/t^le I ™ T f "'° ''°"" P»*^' 'P^^eai 
"connoisseur on this matter M,„ ?^ "'^■*"' »™ewhat of 
about my education :eChlrr'r ^'"^ °"° •="™™ """S 
bj women. However, I tv L.bM r,"'""'"' ' ™ '""St' 
ftay give my best and kind™ t re^Jl t^l" ',,°''' "' "^ •=""«• 
beheve me most sincerely youre, '^ "" ^°"'' f'"nily, '"id 

There used to be an r.\,\ ■ ^' ^' ^• 

people found that thoy Za 1 „Tl ''"^ f""'""'' """ ■»««' 
Roebuek was no except ion Z , .r"' *' ^^'■^' »"<1 «■-. 
the widow of hi uSrBi" ;''.'■''»"■»» M.«. Roebuck, 
-as in her house Zt^T^^i^ """" "'^"'- I' 
born, and .he became verTimte at „"'"> "'"''"'"^ ""^ 
upon her nephew in whni ° "'"'"« showered 

great interest ""^ '"■"S''^''*' »'>« "'""■■aUy took 

thou" u a";;; *f:ty*"t:" " '"'"r '" -^ ^"pp-'» -"o 

by persons who '^^I^ TZ\fT'\''^''^ ^' '^'^'^-^ 
in the eccentric Mr Henrv Dkl p"' /"'' ^'- ^''^'^^ 
Castle, who was not o^yTofet^ k"'™''' °*' *"'"'"''' 
all, the name having tlZ^lT' '"' "° '''"-'''"='^ "' 

Eoebuck, the founder of the ^7,^1, .f r"*"" "' '"■■ '"'"' 

"OILS at Carron, m .Scotland. 






His eldest son was John,* a man well known in the scientific 
world. Benjamin, his second son, was Paymaster-General of 
the forces of Madras. The widow of this son is now living in 
Bath, and his third son, my father, Ebenezcr, died in India in 
1H07, while carrying on contracts with the East India Company. 
His docks were well known to every person acquainted with 
British India ; and the name and family of Roebuck must be 
familiar to every one connected with India between the years 
1799 and 1810. 

The result of the polling was the return of Major- 
General Palmer, with Mr. Roebuck as his colleague, Mr. 
Hobhouse being ninety-eight votes behind. 

In the address of thanks and gratulation which he 
issued to the electors of Bath, Mr. Roebuck explained the 
spirit in which he interpreted his duties and responsibilities, 
and he expressed the hope that all animosities would now 
cease. His opponents lost no time in showing their repudia- 
tion of any such desire. A few days after the election the 
new member had the first of the many physical encounters 
which marked his public career. This was with Mr. R. 
Blake Foster, who, after offering himself as a Conservative 
candidate prepared " not to act the part either of a Bully 
or a Revolutionist," had retired from the contest. Meeting 
Mr. Roebuck in the coffee-room of the Sydney Hotel, Mr. 
Foster was offensive and insulting. Mr. Roebuck demanded 
his card, and Mr. Foster demurring, the new member 
promised, failing its production, to knock him down. Mr. 
Roebuck tendered his own card, and when Mr. Foster 
contemptuously tore it up, the plucky little man struck 

* The eldest son of the aboTe-mentioned John was Captain Thomas Roe- 
buck, I'ublic Examiner at the Madras College, and a member of the Asiatic 
Society. He compiled and translated a collection of Persian and Hindoo 
proverbs, also one of Hindoo nautical terms; he translated the Persian 
dictionary, the " Burhan-kati," and several other works. He was associated 
with Dr. Gilchrist in the preparation of the " British Indian Monitor," and 
tiie " English and Hindostani Dictionary." He was born in Linlithgowshire 
in 1781, and died at Madras in 1819. 



him in the face. There was no duel, and valorous threats 
of legal proceedings ended in empty talk. 

More serious was the attempt made to unseat Mr, 
Roebuck on petition. This was based on the allegation 
that he did not possess the property qualification then 
required of members of Parliament. On the hustings, at 
the nomination, the Mayor of Bath had, on the requisition 
of two electors, administered to the candidates the nomina- 
tion oath presented by the Act (9th Anne). Mr. Roebuck, 
in taking the oath, stated that his property was in ihe 
parish of Camberwell, Surrey. The petition, which was 
promoted by the united Whig and Tory parties in Bath, 
alleged that there is no parish of Camberwell, and the 
petitioners, one of whom was Mr. Hobhouse's chairman, 
said that they had been unable to discover that Mr. Roe- 
buck was seized either by law or equity of any property 
whatever in the village of Camberwell. The fact seems to 
be that, prior to the election, Mr. Roebuck had made 
arrangements for the purchase of a qualification, but the 
legal formalities were somewhat delayed, so that they were 
only completed an hour or two before he took the oath. 
Mr. Roebuck subsequently declared that he himself paid 
into the hands of Mr. Selby, the vendor, five thousand and 
odd pounds. The matter was investigated by a committee 
of the House of Commons, but although Mr. Roebuck was 
able to prove the truth of his statement made on the 
hustings, the petition was dismissed only on the casting 
vote of the chairman, and the committee decided that its 
presentation was not frivolous or vexatious. 

It was at that time a very common practice for friendly 
arrangements to be made for conferring on candidates 
artificial qualifications. Mr. Roebuck himself alleged that 
not one man in ten possessed before his candidature the 
sort of estate qualifying him to sit. The experience of 
1832, with the narrow escape from losing his seat, was 
not lost on Mr. Roebuck, for when, at a later period, Mr. 



John Temple Leader * conveyed to him a landed qualifi- 
cation, he was exceedingly punctilious in observing all the 
forms of purchase. 

John TfurpJe Lmhr to the Editor. 
FfomirP, mnuni, 1!>, iHOfi.-As Koebuck had no landed 
.inalifica ion, I gave one charged on my estate of Burston, in 
J uckmghanislure. He was so particular in affairs of that kind, 
that he insisted on having all the legal forms observed, and he 
actually brought me bank-notes of the requisite value, which 
liad been lent to him by onr friend George Grotc, and whicli 1, 
ot course, immediately roturued to Grote. 

^ Elected tncinber for Briclgowater in 18:i5, and resigned his seat in 1837 
in order to eng.tge in the great Westminster fightagainst Sir Francis Burdett 
in May of thu year. Though unsuccessful then, ho was returned for West- 
minster atthe general election in the following August, and again in 1841. 
He retired from Parliament in 1847, and has for many years resided in 
1' lorcnce. Hee yoit, chapter x. 

( SI ) 



TnE old order of things had gone. With a widened suffia^e 
there had come now men. new methods, new asniratbns 
and a marked disruption of the form^ lineTof tr"y 

typified than in the presence, in the House of Commons of 
the member for Bath. He concretely personified J ke 

hopes entertained by enthusiastic reformers othptt 
.b,ht;es of the new er^ On him wa. concentrated lu 
he mistrust of those, whether Tories or Whigs who clave 

to the past, and who hated change and innovktion Mr 

^d "„ itf " *r " J"*'''^"^ the fears of his fo^s 
and in gratifying the expectations of his admirers He 

h^c me?; /'"' "'" ""^ '='""=-'1 conditions th" 
had come a vivifying power into the debates of the House 
of Commons. On the fl«t night of the debate on the 
address, there presented itself to the House a thin sli!ht 
figure, with clean-cut, thoughtful face, uttering cur crl n 
sentences which from the first rang out incisively n Z 
telluig tones all the more impressive through the absent 
of gesticulation, and an avoidance of the factitious alof 
emotional oratoiy. In picturing the scene when Roetuck 
firs arrested an attention that never failed whenever from 

he roTr \*^' '"^ °f '■'^ '°"« Parliamentary career 
he rose to speak, we must avoid setting it in the chamber 



so familiar to us all, in which our legislators now meet. 
For the Reformed Parliament assembled not in the buildinL^ 
of to-day, but in that humble historic house where the 
great drama of constitutional growth had been enacted, 
and where the mighty giants of Parliamentary debate had 
struggled for centuries. The Reformed Parliament was as 
new wine put into old bottles, for not until the following 
year were the ancient buildings destroyed by an act of 
reckless folly; not until 1847 were the Lords, not until 
1852 were the Commons, able to take up their abode in 
Sir Charles Barry's new palace.* In the intervening years 
temporary accommodation was provided for the people's 
representatives in the old House of Lords, while the peers 
were provisionally housed in what is known to history as 
the Painted Chamber. 

The House of Commons of that time, both as to the 
building itself and the manners of its members, seems to 
have impressed Mr. Roebuck very unfavourably. In his 
" Extracts from the Diary of an M.P,," in TaiVfi Edinburgh 
Magazine (July, 1833), he describes it thus : — 

A small, ill-conditioned room, with a hijjjli-backed chair and 
green table on the floor, with benches rising on each side, is the 
House of Commons. The Speaker, witli his fnll-l)lown wig and 
flowing gown, occupies the chair ; three clerks in wiiiS sit at his 
feet, and around and about, overhead in the galleries, on the 
floor, lying at fnll length on the benches, talking, laughing, hoot- 
ing, coughing, sleeping, are to be seen the members — the iHfc of 
the great nation in the cliaracter of legislators ; and one unfor- 
tunate wight is, amidst this strange and uncouth assembly, 
endeavouring, in the slang phrase, to obtain the attention of the 
Honse — in other words, is making a speech. ... I often ask old 
members whether the Reformed ParUament is worse or better in 
point of behaviour than its predecessors. From all I c " iier 
it is evidently worse ; and the reason assigned is sati _ . It 

* Mr. Roebuck was accustomed jokingly to say that tli <^w houses 
were a standing argument against triennial Parliaments, ns ii look qtiite 
three years to learn their topography. 





is not, as the Conservatives would assert, that the more cnlarj^od 
constituency has niiidu the representatives more vuljjfar ; for, on 
my knowled^'c, I can assert that the most nule and boisterous 
portion of the House arc the youui,' fry of Tory nominees. But 
in former times there were two distinct and ori^'anlzcd parties ; 
these parties had well-known leaders, ujjou whom devolved the 
liusiness of advocating and opposing the measures before the 
llouse. Everybody knew this ; and no one interfered with the 
l)art assigned to a given individual. The debate then went on 
(juietly, and the House generally listened with something like 
attention and patience, But now there is no organization. Every- 
l)ody is at sea ; no guides, no rulers, no leaders arc acknowledged. 
Every one sets up for himself, speaks for himself, thinks and 
acts for himself. The consequence is, that fifty speakers will rise 
at once, all imi)atient to be heard ; while two or three hundred 
are around them, impatient to be away — to parties, to the opera, 
etc. So confusion, riot, calls of " Question, question ! " " Bar, 
bar ! " — which is uniformly pronounced " ba, ba," with emphasis — 
groans and braying are the order of the day. One member 
possesses the faculty of hooting like an owl, to the great disturb- 
ance of the gravity of the assembly and evident annoyance of the 
Speaker. This rude and boisterous conduct precludes the possi- 
bility of deliberation. Nothing is permitted to be discussed. One 
or two broad assertions of opposition will be permitted ; but the 
moment any argument is attempted— any endeavour made to 
illustrate or prove — then come yells, and all the many means of 
silencing an opponent practised in Honourable House. 

[After instancing many men who have been actually scared into 
silence by this behaviour, and citing the attention paid to Mr. 
Grote's speech on the ballot as a solitary contrary case, Mr. Roe- 
buck goes on] : With that exception, I have never heard in that 
assembly one generous sentiment, or one logical and really effective 
argument. All has been passion, ignorance, prejudice. Bold- 
facedness, however, usually gets a hearing. ... In sober sadness 
I must say that the House is very little solicitous respecting 
the popular feelings ; that the members, as a body, have no 
sympathy with the people, and were it not that they believe that 
the people have a somewhat greater control than formerly over 
the electors, we should have them following a course exactly 
similar to that of the borough-mongers of heretofore. 



It was, then, in the old arena, and amid these dis- 
couraging surroundings, that the young representative of 
Bath first obeyed the call of Mr. Speaker Sutton. The 
description just quoted of the difficulties against which 
members addressing the House had to contend, explains 
the justifiable pride with which Mr. Roebuck will be found 
hereafter referring to the manner in which he had succeeded 
in compelling the House to hear him — a pride that might 
seem exaggerated if we measured the assembly by present 
standards, and forgot the unruly impatience which marked 
the earlier years of the Reformed Parliament. 

When now, sixty-four years later, Ireland still holds 
dominant place in our National Councils, it is significant 
to remember that even then the most prominent subject 
which demanded the attention of the Reformed Parliament 
was the condition of that distressful country. The harsh- 
ness of Mr. Secretary Stanley's administration was keenly 
resented. It was disliked by many, even, of his own 
colleagues. It was the references to Ireland in the King's 
Speech that elicited from O'Connell the celebrated denuncia- 
tion of English rule as "bloody, brutal, and unconstitutional." 
The fray waged by those giants of vituperation, Mr. 
O'Connell and the Irish Secretary, Mr. Stanley (the future 
Lord Derby), was an encounter after Mr. Roebuck's own 
heart, and he plunged vigorously into the storm. Proclaim- 
ing that freedom from party trammels which remained his 
boast through life, he forthwith fell with great spirit upon 
Stanley and his policy of force and coercion. In 'vords 
which might have been appropriately used fifty years 
later, he said — 

The Irish Secretary would take away trial by jury and suspend 
the habeas corpus. He (Mr. Roebuck) would recommend a thinj; 
hitherto untried — Vonest government. England had never 
estabUshed good government in Ireland. There had been strong 
governments indeed ; but he did not at present mean sucli an 
one, which might be wielded by the lion, secretary at pleasure, 



which would obey his dictation, and fill the prisons of Ireland. 
Fears were not the arguracnts of statesmen, and the only remedy 
for grievances was to redress them .... Government, it was said, 
must be feared before it was beloved. The proper eonrse for 
creating affection had nob yet been tried. Let the plain and 
obvious mode of real conciliation be adopted. 

So Mr. Roebuck struggled hard against the Irish 
Coercion Bill, which was subsequently forced through the 
House. When presenting petitions praying for the re- 
jection of the measure on the day after the third reading 
had been carried by a majority of 345 to 80, he said — 

The members for Ireland had fought their battle in that 
House manfully, patiently, and with great calmness and discretion ; 
but that battle, from the votes of last night, was clearly shown 
to be lost. He felt called upon to say to those honourable gentle- 
men, if they would take his advice, they would leave that House 
at once and for ever, as it was plain Ireland could not look 
for justice from au English House of Commons. If the opinion 
of the House of Commons were to be judged of by the opinions 
and votes of its members last night, justice never could be done 
to Ireland, and the sooner she was separated from England the 
better. The i>cople of America, having nuich less grounds than 
Ireland to complain, bad fought nobly for their independence, 
and had put down the, till then, indomitable pride of England. 
Unfortunately, Ireland bad not followed so glorious an example, 
and the consequence was that she had sulfered oppressions un- 
equalled by any other country in Europe, with the exception of 
Poland. . . . Irishmen bad become the slaves of the despotism of 
England, and if they wished to continue so, instead of lighting 
manfully and boldly by every means in their power for their 
independence, they would passively give way to the provisions of 
the most iniquitous measure that had ever been brought forward, 
and they would deserve the execration of every honourable man.* 

When charged '.v^ith preaching open rebellion, ]\Ir. Roe- 
buck referred his assailants to the speeches ..f Mr. Fox, who 
had used terms ecpially strong. 

* Miireh 30. Iltin.'saril. vol. xvi. ]>. STti. 





The session witnessed other great debates, in which Mr. 
Roebuck took a prominent part. He assailed the Govern- 
ment, and especially Sir James Graham, in a speech on Mr. 
Hume's motion for the abolition of sinecure offices and 
pensions. He flung himself into the indignation caused 
by the official breaking up of a peaceful political meeting 
in Coldbath Fields, and into the controversy over the 
loss of a policeman's life during the disturbance. He 
attacked ministerial and official interference in Parlia- 
mentary elections, and protested against the house and 
window taxes. Early in the session he had given notice 
of a motion for a Select Committee to devise a means for 
the universal and national education of the whole people. 
This fell through, but in the following July he moved a 
resolution, pledging the House, early in the next session, 
to seek a solution of the problem. The motion, being 
opposed by the Government, was withdrawn, but the 
speech in which it was commended to the House was 
praised by Mr. Grote as " able and luminous." In it Mr. 
Roebuck sketched the methods by which he held that a 
thoroughly comprehensive scheme of education should be 
can-ied out. On this subject, and also on his attitude 
towards the Established Church, he had left his constituents 
in no doubt, for he had told them — 

I nra a member of the Chiu'ch of Euj^land, but I want none 
but Chnrch of Eu<?hmd men to support my Church. "With 
regard to an I-lstablished Chnrch, so long as a majority of the 
jieople of England wish for an Established Church, let there be 
one, but for myself I see no necessity for it. I think the property 
now possessed by the Chnrch is public property, and may be 
applied as the legislature think fit. If returned I shall advocate 
its appropriation to national purposes. I would have clergymen 
jiroperly paid, and apply the surplus to the purposes of education. 
Private charities I would apply as nearly as possible to the 
purposes for which they were bequeathed. I consider that all 
religious disabilities ought to be removed, and that every one 
who has committed no criminal act should be admitted to all 





thu privile,iros of tlic State. In no case whatever ou^t religion 
tgigrm part of a national education. 

As an object-lesson, exemplifying Mr. Roebuck's views on 
popular education, a model school was subsequently started 
in Bath, founded on the principles the honourable member 
recommended;* but it had to be closed after a career of 
six months, owing to disputes between the committee and 
the teacher and superintendent. 

An agitation against the Sale of Beer Act elicited the 
first of a long series of utterances destined to keep Mr, 
Roebuck in constant conflict with the temperance party. 
He defended the beer-shops as having greatly benefited 
the working classes; and he attributed special weight to 
a i)etition presented by him from Merthyr Tydvil in their 
favour, on the ground that it must be the petition of the 
poor men because almost every person who had signed 
it was unable to write. He took up the cause of a boy 
named Barber, who had ueen imprisoned for selling un- 
stamped newspapers, and, over ready to champion the 
persecuted, and to fly at the prejudices of conventionalism, 
he presented a petition from Richard Carlile, praying to 
be released from an imprisonment to which he had been 
sentenced for writing letters deemed to be incitements to 
incendiarism. In doing this he made a fierce attack on the 
Recorder of London, who had tried Carlile. He had never, 
he declared, heard of a more captious, less careful, calm, and 
considerate judge, nor one more wholly unworthy and in- 
capable of performing the duties of his ofticef 

This session marked the commencement of persistent 
attempts by Sir A. Agnew to enforce the observance of the 
Sabbath by legislative enactments. From the first these 
were met by Mr. Roebuck with irreconcilable opposition. 

* See Tail's Edinburgh Magazine for 1835, p. 202, for an account of the 
Bath Kducatiou Society, of which Kochiick was the priBiilent, ami itH Hchool. 

t Seo ante, p. 7 (chap. i.). Tiie Kecorder of Louilon in 1833 was the 
Hun. C. E. Law, not Shaw, ua given in Mooiu's Diary. 




He never ceased to pour upon them bitter contempt 
and scornful obloquy. By way of reductio ad ahsiirdum, 
Mr. Roebuck was accustomed to threaten to make liable 
to fine any gentleman whose carriage, or servant, should 
be seen in the streets on a Sunday. He suggested a penalty 
of ilO on any one attending a club on Sunday, or sending 
his servant with messages. He threatened to impose a 
penalty of £100 on any clergyman driving to church, to 
be increased in the case of a bishop to £200. He would 
also endeavour to shut up Hyde Park and the Zoological 
Gardens, "so that the whole metropolis should be con- 
verted into one solemn scene of unmitigated gloom and 
fanaticism." But a more excellent way, urgently advocated 
by him, was the opening on Sundays of the British IMuseum 
and other places of instructive recreation. Not until 1896 
was this done, sixty-three years after Mr. Roebuck pressed 
it upon the House of Commons. 


June 21, 1838. — The murder is out, and the ministers arc for 
ever ruined in the public estimation. It is now proved that as 
men and gentlemen they arc uuwortliy of trust. It was confidently 
stated that they had .letermined to give up the integrity of the 
[Irish Church] Bill, and erase tlie clause respecting the appropria- 
tion of Church property. Matters go quietly until the reading of 
the 147th clause, when Stanley gets up, and with much calmness 
and complacency, proposes to leave out the whole clause. The 
House appeared seriously hurt, lie could not get a single cheer. 
His usual commonplaces were no longer successful, and at length 
he felt that this hitherto obsequious House was no longer at his 
command. . . . The usually bold Mr. Stanley shrinks under the 
fierce cheers of his opponents. The cries of the Opposition were 
continuous and triumphant. Their scornful laughs made him 
tremble with rage and shame. . . . He cowers under their wcU- 
deserved contumely, and is more than usually pale and ghastly. 
His proposal was met with undisguised scorn, and siiouts of bitter 
and contemptuous laughter ; and I shall never forget the burst 
which followed O'Connell's opening remark, which came from 
him with all that air of truth and burning indignation which be 





so well knows how to throw into Lis statements. *' Xo, sir," he 
said, " I am not disappointed. I am not surprised by the 
declaration of the riajht honourable gentleman. I expected that 
they would break their promise, and they have done so." . . . The 
House of Commons seemed transformed, as if by magic, from a 
servile, acquiescent herd ; they appeared at once to have become 
independent, patriotic, honest. The miivisterial influence was 
annihilated ; and sure am I, whatever may be the majorities 
obtained by them after this memorable debate, their power, their 
real influence over men's minds, the strange but hitherto powerful 
prestige which attended them, is gone for ever. 

I wish people would leave off talking nonsense about the 
return of the Tories to power. They speak as if there were no 
alternative for the people but Whig or Tory. There is yet one 
more, viz. an independent, or let us use the strong word, a Radical 
party. These last are far more in accordance with the popular 
opinion than either Whig or Tory ; and let their enemies say 
what they will, the Radicals must be in power before three years 
are passed, unless indeed the Duke of Wellington should really 
come into office a pas do rUoiijo^ and bayonet the people into 
silence. What ! the hoiTid, the vulgar, the destructive Radicals 
in office, in this civilized, enlightened, polished, aristocratic 
country ? Even so, good people. What think you, for example, 
of the wild, headstrong, destructive propensities of that furious 
demagogue, Mr. Grote, as Chancellor of the Exchequer ?* 

Mr. Roebuck's activities were by no means restricted 
at this time to his Parliamentary work. Besides the " M.P.'s 
Diary," he contributed occasional articles to Tait'n Edinhargh 
Magazine, on Parliamentary and political subjects chiefly, 
but not wholly, for on one occasion ho advises Mr. Tait of 
the despatch of an article on children's books, with the 
remark, " That is my hobby." t 

Early in the year 1833 he, with Hume, Grote, Warburton, 

* " Diiiry of an M.V.," Tait'$ Kdinhurgh Maffazinv, August, 1833, p. Gt 1. 

t Tho articio appears in Tair» Mnijnzini' for Doccnibor, 1833. Other 
p-rticles were, " National Educiition " (March, 1S3:?) ; " Tho Prospects of tho 
People during tho CoiuiuK Session " (December, 181!:?, and February, 1834); 
" Trade Unions " (January, 1831) ; " Political Mortality of tho Tory Ministry " 



and Francis Place, formed a project for establishing a Society 
for the Diffusion of Political and Moral Knowledge. Place, 
with his accustomed thoroughness, elaborated the scheme, 
and Roebuck drew up "a very able" prospectus. The 
plan which, besides the publication of new and the reissue 
of standard works of solid instruction, included the 
establishment of a weekly periodical, was abandoned 
almost immediately — but not before it had desperately 
alarmed the Times and the Chronicle for their advertising 
revenue — because there seemed some prospect that Lord 
Althorp was about to fulfil his often expressed desire to 
abolish the stamp duties on newspapers. When, after 
some years of impatient waiting, the repeal of the 
Newspaper Stamp Act seemed more remote than ever, 
the society, reconstructed, determined to commence, under 
the editorship of Mr. Roebuck, the publication of a series 
of Pamphlets for the People. In order to avoid coming 
under the cognizance of the law affecting periodical 
publications, these bore no..!(]ate or number, each forming 
a separate work. But the idea was to issne ofte every 
week, or oftener if needed. "By whomsoever written," 
said Mr. Roebuck, " my name will appear on the title page 
as editor, and by this mode they will be known to emanate 
from the society. . . . By this means the leading matters 
of present political interest will be brought before the 
people without any infringement of the existing atrocious 

The first of these, " On the Means of Conveying Informa- 
tion to the People," was published on June 11, 1835. 
The first four numbers were wholly from Mr. Roebuck's 
pen, and out of the entire series of six and thirty, there 
were few to which he did not contribute some specimens 
of his pungent thoughts, set forth in an admirably direct 
and lucid language. Even to-day they cannot be read 
without delight. The impression they made at the time 
may be judged by the violent attacks on their author with 



which the newspapers of the day teem — attacks, it must 
be admitted, invited by the unsparing plainness of speech 
in which individuals and institutions were assailed, and 
unpalatable doctrines proclaimed. But in proportion as / 
they offended the classes, they pleased the masses. ' 

ir. IfawlccH Smitk lo J. A. 

Birmin(jhmn, Ocfober 1:), IS;;:..— lamreadinj? your pamphlets, 
which I think of and constantly speak of, as ranking,' amon,i,' the 
most important signs of the times— strong and decided, but without 
vulgar acrimony. Close, practical, and intelligible to all, they 
give to the people precisely the informatiou they want, on the 
various divisions of politics as a science, and on the various 
indications of the state of that science at the present day, which 
might otherwise escape notice and detection. I prefer them 
infinitely to Cobbett's Jirt/i.sfcr, even in its best days, because I 
think they have more of the above qualifications than that 
extraordinary work possessed — have more to do with the people 
than the Regisfer had. 

Next to Roebuck, H. S. Chapman* did most of the 
writing; the contributions of Francis Place and Thomas 
Falconer (Roebuck's brother-in-law) being less frequent. 
Grote's name is given in some of the correspondence as 
having, with Hume, Molesworth, and Warburton, con- 
tributed X'50 as capital for the undertaking, but this is 
irreconcilable with the fact that when only two Pamphlets 
had appeared, Grote wrote to the Times to contradict a 
reference in a leading article to him as connected with 
them. " This," he said, " is not the fact. You have probably 
been misled by finding it stated, and correctly stated, by 
Mr. Roebuck, that I was one of a society projected in the 
year 1833, for the purpose of disseminating cheap and 
useful periodicals among the people." 

In 1834 we find Mr. Roebuck speaking on education at 
a meeting of the National Union of the Working Classes. 

* Chapman, who had previously been rcsirh-nt in Canada, went to tho 
Bur in 1840, and was aftorwarda a judge in New Zealand and several of 
the Australian Colonies, lie died at Dunodin in 1881. 



This speech brought liim into sharp antagonism with 
that able, but curiously erratic politician, William Cobbett, 
one of whose pet aversions was the spi-ead of knowledge. 
In a long letter in his Bcgister he denounced Mr. Roebuck's 
views — which is not surprising, as Cobbett declared 
roundly that in exact proportion as the work of education 
and the sale of newspapers had increased had the liberties 
of the nation been undermined and diminished, while crime 
had augmented nearly tenfold. 

Later in the year Cobbett expressed similar views in 
Parliament, when Mr. Roebuck, returning to the subject 
he had introduced in 1833, moved for a select committee 
to inc^uire into the means of establishing a system of 
national education. His motion, after an alteration in 
its terms, made at the instance of Lord Althorp, was 
agreed to. 

His interpositions in debate, up to July, 1834, when 
Whig dissensions were temporarily patched up by Lord 
Melbourne's government succeeding that of Lord Grey, 
were frequent, and the subjects with which he dealt most 
varied. After that, until the prorogation, Mr. Roebuck was 

The affairs of Canada had been in a disturbed condition 
since 1828, and now, in 1834, they had reached a point 
that determined the member for Bath to bring them under 
the notice of Parliament. When moving for a committee 
of inquiry, he drew a comprehensive and most vivid 
picture of the evils complained of.* The colonists alleged 
that these grievances were brought on chiefly by the 
raisgovernment of the home executive, the result being 
a state of things, even then, amounting to almost open 
rebellion. Mr. Stanley, on behalf of the Government, 
having agreed to more limited inquiry into the grievances 

* For a clear account of the Canadian troubles and their ultimate settle, 
incnt, see Spencer Walpole's " History of England " (new edition, 1 81)0), 
vol. iv. chap. xv. 




of Lower Canada, excluding the Upper Province, the 
committee was granted by the House without a division. 
The committee met, but its report was not made public. 

In his earlier elections, Mr. Roebuck made it a point 
of honour never to canvass personally. He laid down other 
rules with regard to the relative position of representatives 
and represented that might usefully be imitated and re- 
membered. Thus he was attacked at Bath for having 
refused to subscribe to the Bath and West of England 
Agricultural Society. His reply was given in a speech 
made in that city, January 7, 1834, at a meeting on 
Corporation Reform. He said — 

A representative of the people should f,'o to Pivrlinment free 
ivnd uudetiled. If he puts his bauds into his pockets to purchase 
their suffrages, be assured that he will make them jiay for it in 
return. I say, tlierefore, that, whatever societies I may think 
proper to subscribe to in my individual capacity, you have no 
right to expect ine to do so as your representative. 

Part of the autumn of 1834! was passed in France, 
where, almost immediately on landing, Mr. Roebuck was 
seized with a dangerous illness. Two physicians, one 
French, one English, despaired of their patient, although 
the French doctor saw some hope if his prescription could 
be given, but neither he nor the English colleague could 
inuster up courage to give it. When Mrs. Roebuck heard 
their decision, she said, " I will take that responsibility ! " 
and at once administered the medicine, with the happiest 
results. The convalescence was long, and tiie time was 
<;hiefly spent in drawing, for which a vigorous and graceful 
talent had already caused Mr. Roebuck's friends to say that 
he was an artist lost to the world. The scenes of his first 
water-colours were taken from the surroundings of the 
quaint little town of Abbeville, where he was then staying. 
This pursuit he continued in his leisure moments for years, 
until eyesight suddenly failed i 1852. 





Rp>i:LE(Ti:n roii hath. 183"). 

"The queen has done it all," was the spiteful comment, 
inspired by Brougham, on the announcement, which 
startled the country on November 15, 1.S.34, that King 
William IV. had summarily dismissed Lord Melbourne. 
" Regularly kicked out," Mr. Greville called it ; and as- 
suredly no lackey was ever discharged with less ceremony 
than the king showed in this last dying Hicker of pre- 
rogative. His Majesty took the worst possible way of 
ending a crisis which had long been approaching. Every- 
thing had gone wrong with the ministry during the 
preceding session. Ireland — the Irish Church, Irish tithes, 
Irish coercion — had, as usual, played the part of wrecker. 
Ministerial divisions had resulted in what Lord John 
Russell called " the wretched, blundering, wavering course 
of policy." "Johnny," in historic phrase, had himself 
" upset the coach," by publicly dissociating himself from 
Stanley's views on the appropriation of the revenues 
of the Church, and thus driving from the Cabinet four 
of his most influential colleagues. Then " the pig was 
killed," in Althorp's bucolic simile. In the complications 
arising out of the mistaken confidence of the Irish Secre- 
tary (Littleton) of being able to manage O'Connell o^•er 
the Coercion Bill, Lord Grey threw up the premiership, 
and left Melbourne to struggle on until the removal of 
Lord Althorp to the House of Lords, through the death 



of Lord Spencer, tempted tlio kinjif to the last and feeblest 
coni^ <r>'(<it ever attempted by a British sovereign. Tlion 
Peel, hastily summoned from Rome, began his short and 
inglorious ministry. 

Ffhf\iit'(i 1!», is;*,,'). — The new [teinporarj-] ITonso of Commons 
opened for the first time for the reception of members. As 
coinjiiired with the old uirly place, it is \\ l)eiuitifiil luid com- 
modious room. Many mistakes, however, have been made which 
it is to he h(»ped will be a warning to the architect of the per- 
manent house. Amontr the most serious of these was the leaving 
a large space behind the Speaker's chair for a gossip shop. In 
fact, all the bud points in the new house arise from a servile 
imitation of the old one. . . . The table is exactly the size of the 
old one, as is ])roved by the appearance of the old oil-cloth 
covering used in the former house, and saved providentially, 
as the Speaker would have said, from "the dcvastntioiis com- 
mitted by the flames." . . . The Lords are am.'izinirly shorn of 
their beams. Their now insignificant house is a tyiw of their 
political condition. Bri<rht colours and much show in an 
awkward, small, uncomfortable room — in my opinion, however, 
(piite good enough. The whole body being useless, or something 
worse, it matters little into what place you cram them. 

Fcliniarif 20. — Tlie division [on an amendment to the address] 
created little sensation. Whether we were beaten or not was a 
matter of little consecpience, as Sir Tl. Peel had plainly stated 
that he would not resiijn, even if placed in a minority,* and ho 
was right for so saying. We knew the result (ayes, 802 ; noes, 
300. IMiijority for the amendment, 7) before we returned out 
of the loliby ; and, although a cheer was raised on the declaration 
of the numbers, very little exultation was felt by the more 
Liberal portion of the majority. Peel looked painfully down- 
cast. He was as pale as the paper on which I am writing. 
There was a convulsive motion of his mouth that gave one 
pain to look at. He seemed to sink under the blow, and walked 
out of the house as would a man stunned by a fall. He must 
feel that he is in a false position ; and, doubtless, would give 
half his fortune to he on the Liberal side of the House. Had 

* On the ground tlmt the nmondmcnt did not clearly indicate want of 
coufideucc in the miuitstry. 



he not bound liiiiisclf to tho Tory party too lirinly for ntnut, 
wu Hhould hiivi! li;i(l liiiii as an advocate of i\\v nini'iiiKiil — a 
shullliiij,' advocate, without douitt, l)ut still a jiowirful one.* 

This was but the prccursoi- of a C(tnstant succession 
of defeats, jigiiiiist which I'eel fou;^dit in vain. At h-nj^'th, 
on April 7, his hark, too, struck on the rock of the Irish 
Church, and he appealed to the country. At the geni lai 
election which followed, tlu; Toiies of JJath adopted as 
their Candidate Colonel J)aul)eney, a tric«l soldier and 
one of the most intluential of local Conservatives. The 
Whi^s had already sunnnoned Mr. lioMiousu to return 
to the battle. He had come protesting; solicitude for 
harmonious action in the Liberal camp. The lladicals 
put their olil members in the (iuld. JJefore the nomi- 
nation, Mr. llobhouse retired in order to contest Finsbury. 
General Talmer, for reasons connected with his private 
concerns, was absent durin<^ the contest; and thus the 
whole burden of the lii;ht rested upon Mr. Roebuck. 
Tho strungle ended in the re-election of himself and his 

In tho new Parliament Mr. Roebuck lost no time in 
returning to the educational |)roblem. He succeeded in 
obtaining a connnittee to in(pure into the present state 
of the education of the people, and into the application 
and effects of tho grant made in the last session for 
erection of school-houses, and to consider the expediency 
of further grants in aid of education. 

The House of Assembly of Lower Canada had appointed 
Mr. lloebuck as their agent in England, and this session 
(1835) he continued to give constant attention to the 
affairs of that colony. Ho presented a petition from 
certain members of the Legislative Council and of the 
House of Assembly of Lower Canada, complaining of 
their grievances — a document which he described as 
being as important as any laid before the House of 

* "Diary of uu BI.P.," TaiCs Edinburgh Miiyuzine, April, 1835, p. 211. 

re-i:li:ctei) ivr hath. 





CnmmoTiM sinco the disastrous period of IT?^. TFIs speech 
on tliis occasion, in which the priviloi^o of self-j^ovormnent 
was deiiiand(Ml, is a clear and interestinij statement of 
the state of the colony and its i^riovances. This petitiini 
oliciteil rebiittiii;^ petitions, presented hy Mr. I'atiicic 
Stewart (Lancaster), and Mr. (J. V. Voun<]j ('rynemnuth). 
Durini; these cniitroversies Sir llohert I'eel made an 
unfounded chaii^e ai^ainst Uoebuck of having' divuli,'ed 
contidential communications. Mr. Uoeltuck, however, liad 
no ditliculty in showiiii^ that, so far from havini^ violated 
confidenco, ho had earnestly protested ai^ainst the use, hy 
Canadian delej^ates, of a conversation with Peel. 

Mr. Jloehuck's accc[)tanco of the position of aj^ont for 
the (Canadians exposed him to many snecrini^ attacks from 
opponents Avho conveniently forgot that Hthnund Burke 
had acted in a similar capacity for the colony of New 
York at the time of the American Revolution, receiving' 
£.')00 a year for his services. The vivid imaj^ination of 
Mr, Roebuck's assailants enabled them to represent hiiu as 
in receipt of £1 100 a year, whereas the Canadians not only 
failed to pay his salary at the time, but left him to defray 
tho expenses of the defence of Canada in Parliament out of 
his own pocket, and subsequently repudiated his claim for 
arrears. Sir John llanmcr, in 183(5, asked the House of 
Commona to atKrin that it was contrary to its indepen- 
dence, a breach of ii-s privile«^os, and deroj^atory to its 
character, for any of it.-j members to become tho paid 
advocate of any portion of his Majesty's subjects. Tho 
motion was rejected by 178 votes to G7. Mr. Roebuck 
acted as agent for only a year and a half. When the 
Canadians became what was termed rebels, ho ceased to 
act for them. Not until many years afterwards was he 
paid his first claims. 

The poor and the oppressed — whether illiterate Irish 
petitioners, or ill-used paupers, or tho London cab- 
drivers, or the cruelly transported Dorchester labourers, or 




publishers who had been imprisoned, ar 1 printers whoso 
presses had been seized by the Stamp OfHce — found in Mr. 
Roebuck a courageous champion. His attacks upon the 
newspaper stamp were accompanied by his customary 
fuhninations against the newspapers themselves. He 
said — 

There never was a press so dccrradcd, so thoroughly itnmoral, 
as the press (»f this country. . . . From tlie hii,'liest to the lowest, 
the most paltry corruption, the basest cowardice, and the blackest 
immorality, were the governing principles of the newspaper press 
of this couutiy. 

He spoke in favour of the relief of Dissenters from the 
disabilities placed upon them by the marriage laws; 
against a budget which, while continuing corn laws and 
other taxes for the benefit of the landed interest, did not 
even name the taxes on knowledge. He pressed for the 
ballot. Furtiier attempts at enforcing Sunday observance 
by legislation drew forth his bitterest sarcasms. Not only 
was there a Bill against Sunday trading, but attempt was 
made to introduce into the Great Weatern Railway Bill a 
clause prohibiting the running of trains on Sunday. The 
promoters of the Bill had been sufficiently alarmed to 
express themselves willing to be bound not to run trains 
between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sundays; but th ur oppo- 
nents, with a confidence cruelly disillusioned when they 
found themselves in an impotent minority in the division 
lobby, loftily declared that the question was one admitting 
of no compromise. Mr. Roebuck met what he regarded 
as an attack upon the rights and liberties of the poor by 
a description of what he had seen of the privileges and 
proceedings of the rich. Ho said — 

I shall oppose this clause, because it is intended by it to 
interfere with the enjoyment of the working and poorer classes, 
wliile it leaves untouched the recreations of the higher classes. 
I went a short distance out of town a Sunday or two ago, and 



I will imn':ito to the Honso what \ suw. On that moniiii:,' I 
wont, first into IMocadilly. At twoivo o'clock, the tirst jK-rson 
I nut was the Dnkc of \Vcllini,'ton tm iiorsohack. I went into 
IFydc Park, and tiicrc were sonic men waterini; the drive for 
the comfort of the relined classes that afternoon. A little 
fnrther on, at Kni^'htsbridire, [ foinid the soldiers exircisinir, iind 
their ollicrrs in arms. I pnrsued my jonrney over Haii'iner- 
sinith IJridire, and there met with the liord Chief .Instice on 
horseback, takini,' a ride into the country. At three o'clock [ 
arrived at Hampton Court, and there foimd the riuht houonr- 
able baronet, the mend)or for Tamworth [Sir iiolu'rt Peel]. Do 
I blame any of these illustri»»ii- lersonaLCes for what they were 
doinu; ? I was doiiiLT the same ihinii: as themselves. They had 
as natch riuiit to travel on Sundays for their health and ainnse- 
mcuL as I have, and so have tin; [)oor. The ])lain fact is, we 
meddle too much with one another. If each individual would 
ttvke care of his own i^oodness, instead of beinj^ so anxious about, 
the irooduess of his neiLjhlionr, W(! should have more virtue in the 
world, though we miulit have a little less ontwanl show. 






The IMimiclpjvl (.VtrporatiouUoforni IVill, cai-rioil throiii^h 
the Coniinons witlioiit material distigurenient by tho 
exercise of Sir llobort Peel's rostrainini; intlucnce on his 
more extreme followers, was sent up to the House of Lonls 
on July -I. Tho Tory lonls at once proceeded to work 
their wicked will upon it. They turned it inside out, and 
sent back to tlio Commons a wholly ditferent and re- 
actionary M\capun3. Mr. Roebuck, both in Parliament and 
inhisPamphi jtsforthe People, declaimed aujalnst the Lords. 
"UnmiivC'l, then," he wrote, "is the evil which the House 
of Lorui inflicts upon the nation, whether we view them 
as lcf]fislators, or judges, or simply as an aristocracy. Such 
is my answer to the (juestion, 'Of what use is the House 
of Lords?'" In "Tho Crisis: What ourjht Ministers to 
do ? " he contended that not only oujjht every chan<»o 
made to be rejected, and the IVdl restored to its ori'jjinal 
shape, but that the bri^ader strujjfgle of dei)rivin<]f tho Lords 
of power to work such mischiefs should bo entered upon. 





And he spoke to the same effect in the House. When 
Lord John Russell preached concession, Mr. Roebuck urged 
defiance. " Let us," ho said, " re-enact every one of our 
original measures, saying that sucli was the pleasure of the 
people. Let those who dare resist it." 

The following letter to Mrs. Roebuck was written on 
August 81, during the debate in which Lord John Russell, 
fresh from a conference with his party in Downing Street, 
explained which of the Lords' Amendments the Government 
advised the Commons to reject and wliich to accept. In 
this debate, Peel, to the consternation of his followers, 
threw the Lords overboard on most of the i)oiuts insisted 
on by Lord John Russell. 

Ti> Mrs. Rorhuch. 

Lomfoti, Aiif/iis/ i\\. — I am writinij in the House in a hurry 
iuid aifninst time. I was yesterday at tlio Grotes', at Duhvicli. 
I fonml tliem iu liiuii excitement and wisliinj; for mc. We had 
a grrat talk ; and to-day I went to Lord Jolin Russell to have 
another talk. We shall not aecei)t the Lords' Ameiidincnts as a 
whole, but only some of them — too many to pkase nie. Still, if 
the Lords accept the Bill as we return it, it will still be a good 
one. Lt>rd John [Russell] is on his legs, talking empty nothings 
in a very pompous tone. Whether the Lords will accept what he 
proposes is more than I know. 

]\Iolesworth I found at Duhvicli,* iu great glee because he 
hopes for a row. (Jrote is in a great rage, and is aji^ainst all 
concession. We had Parkesf at dinner, ])rL'acliing peace, but 
that was not po])ular. Strutt and (laskell were there. ]\Iany 
praises were bestowed on mv doiniis al)out the Lords, and also on 
my Canada article.^ ^ly health is so so. 

* Grotii's houso. 

t JoHi'iih Piu'kt'8, of tbo Iliriuiughnm Political Union, Socrotnry to the 
Municipnl CorpDratioiis CoiuniisBion, iiud in after years in largo practice at 
Westminster as a I'arliauientary solicitor. He was one of IJoutham's " young 

X " On the Affairs of Canada," in tlie Lomlon and Westminster lieview 
for f^optember, 1833 




; lio 



Loiuhni, Scplrmhcr, IS;',,"). — Tivm this moment from pf toDulwlcli 
with IMoloswortli. 1 iro bociiuso I wisli for fresh air. The business 
here will not he over tliis week, oinic! !My motion has excited atten- 
tion. The next " Pams " I mean to fill with tlie history of the week. 

Mr. Roebuck did, accord infjly, devote the next Pamphlet 
for the People, entitled, " The Conduct of Ministers respect- 
ini,' the Amendments of the House of Lords," to a full 
description of the proceedings at the Downing Street 
meeting, and of the debate in the House of Commons. If 
the Tories were dissatisfied with Peel's conduct in throwing 
overboard the Lords, Roebuck was furious at what he 
considered " the unwise, not to say degrading, submission 
of the Commons of England to a few ignorant, irresponsible, 
and interested peers." He poured scorn upon Lord John 
Russell, and he Avrithed under what he called Peel's " selfish 
cunning " in taking a line wdiich showed that, while he was 
the despot over his own party, the ministry was dependent 
upon him for such portions of the Bill as were saved. Dis- 
satisfied with the newspaper accounts, Roebuck gave in the 
Pamphlet a full report of his own speech. In this he 
denounced all compromise, as Grote had also done, both in 
the House and at the party meeting, and insisted that this 
latest insulting demonstration of the incompatibility of the 
existence of the House of Lords with the welfare of England, 
necessitated curing the evil at its source. 

The motion referred to in the foregoing letter as exciting 
attention was a notice put upon the books for the next 
session to ask for leave to bring in a Bill proposing that 
the Lords* veto should be taken away, substituting for it 
a suspensive power to be exercised only once on any 
measure in the same session. Mr. Grove Price (Sandwich) 
intimated that he should meet this with a moiion to erase 
Mr. Roebuck's motion from the paper "as subversive of 
the principles ot our balanced constitution, as derogatory 
to the character, and an abuse of the privileges of the 
House." Nothing ever came of either. 



Tho Parliamentary session of 1835 having closed, the 
Radicals of Bath invited their members and various 
l)oliticians of the same school to a grand dinner, and 
welcomed them by a great demonstration of strength. The 
dinner took place on November 11, 1835. 

To JlfK. Rochmli. 

Ihith, Xorcmhcr 11, 1H:5.j. — Lord Jolm [Russell] does;?**/ come. 
A Privy Council to-day at eleven is the excuse. The dinner 
is to be a very splendid alYair, I understand. The cuthusiasni is 
extraordinary. Hume preaches mildness, and seems half afraid 
of my hitting somebody or other very hard. The day yesterday 
was bitterly cold, but I did notsull'er so much as I expected. The 
country was beautiful beyond descri[)tlon, and I made drawings 
in my head all the way. I should much like to make some 
sketches of Salisbury. Wc have letters from Canada. The 
Conunissioners have already no power, and Lord Codford tells 
Papiueau as much. They have been doing all sorts of foolish things ; 
among otLors, they had invited Pajiineau and Vigier to meet ultra 
opponents. They all got together by the cars at the governor's 
table, he being ohliged to propose a bumper all round to drown 
the row. 

I have just seen Mrs. lienjamin Roebuck, who says that your 
mother sin^s my praises. Mrs. R. was deliyhted to hear so much 
good of her " little Johnny" — my old cognomen. 

The Bath dinner attracted much attention throughout 
the country. Its unmixed Radicalism was accepted as an 
index even of national feeling. Mr. William Hunt was 
president, Colonel (afterwards General Sir William) Napier * 

* Before Mr. llnclmck was seloctcd as candidate for Bath in 1.S32, Coloiud 
William Napier, who had j,'(iiie to roHide at Fn shford, mar tiiat city, had 
beoii invited to stand, bnt liad refused. Auintiniato Iriendship hej^un when, 
in 1835, ho enlisted tho Parlianioutury aid of lloebuck in a light he was 
waging with characteristic heat, against tho inl uumiiily witii which the new 
Poor Law was ad'niuistcrod in Freshford. F :r ninny yours Napier was a 
prominent and striking figure on Bath platforms, and on one occasion he 
incontinently knocked down a man who persisted -n accusing him of false- 
hood. His vigorous Iladicaiism brought him many oifirs of Parliamentary 
seats. Seven great couBlituoucies, including Notiinghum, Glasgow, Uldham, 


boldly inrlicLud tho House of Lords. Mr. Roebuck arraigned 
their Lordships in equally forcible terms, and Mr. Hume 
though less extreme, joined heartily in the censures con- 
veyed. The general feeling of enthusiasm toward Air. 
Koebuck was remarkable. General Palmer offered the 
sincerest homage to his integrity and power, and tho 
ve eran Aapier wound up with these words: "General 
Palmer IS an old friend, but this (laying his hand on Air. 
Roebuck s shoulder)--this is the child of refonu ; and I hope 
that you may hve to witness its best results, and until both 
you and lie have Iiairs as grey as my own." 

S' n't?' r"r ^""^'T''''^ -'»l-to.l for tl.e l.o„„„r uf bavin. Inn. ns 
i ,,.,,..„ o hnntcl „.oanH. Many letters writtr, by lu.a t. Uoe „H 

.IrLl ; "tl. ^7'\irV "'-'"?' '" ^^'^" '^" «^^«» •'^"'•-"■'^•'. wuB strongly 









i ■ 





All!. RoEiiUriv had heralded the session of 1836 by 
broaching a plan for the government of England by the 
Radicals. Considering that the staunch and reliable 
Radicals who were niembei"S of the House of Commons 
nunibeied not more than twenty, this was a bold pro- 
position. His measures for achieving this object were, 
howt'vei", very carefully taken. The great parties were 
so nearly balanced in the House of Commons, that a dozen 
votes would turn the scale ; and upon this fact Mr. Roebuck 
leased his scheme of aggression. In the Pamphlet published 
early in 1S8G, entitled, "Radical Support to a Whig 
^[inistry," he exposed the selfish indifference with which 
the Radical pretensions had been treated by the Whigs, 
and advised that when the (piestion of the Irish Church 
came on, the Radicals • hould show their sense of in- 
dilierence to their demar is by their absence. 

On the very eve of he session, and in the penultimate 
Pami)hlet, " The Radicals and the Ministers," Roebuck 
further elaborated this plan of action. Supi)ort of the 
Whigs should, he urged, be continued on i)romise to repeal 
the Stamp Duties and to leave the Ballot an open question. 
If this was refused, the Radicals should abstain from voting 
on any no-confidence motion proposed by the Tories. 

Nothing practical camo of the scheme. Radicals like 
Sir William Molesworth joined with Roebuck in insisting 




on a more detcnnined and straiglitforward action on the 
part of tho ministers as the only way to obtain hearty 
Radical support. Yet the session ran its course with tho 
usual accompaniments of bitter words, but no deeds. 

The attempt to <:falvanize the Radicals into combined 
revolt was tho tlyiny effort of the Pamphlets. Their early 
promise had not been fulfilled. Refused the support he 
was entitled to expect, tho strain upon Roebuck was too 
great. Publication was discontiimcd early in 1(S3G. The 
conclusion of the story is told in the letters whicli follow : — 

if. S. C/i(f/ii)i(iii Id Fittiiris J'ldcc, 

Jdiniririf II), 18;5<;. — Yon aro aware tliat the Pamphlet did not 
pay its ordhiary, still less its extraordinary, expenses, till towards 
the close of the session. Alter the elose of the session it ceased 
to pay, and the resnlt is that we are lull iil.'tO on the 
wrojif,' side. I, on my own responsibility, have carried it on 
in the face of loss, because I saw it was etVectiui;' an enormous 
amount of good in a public ])oint of view. I saw, too, 
that it was increasing Roebuck's power and adding to his 
usefulness ; and if you re(piire a more selHsh motive, I also saw 
tiiat it was making me advantageously known to the public. 
Thus T had every possible motive to make great sacriHces to 
maintiiiii it. To such sacrifice, however, there is a limit. I can 
allord to expend iiioo — Roebuck can i)erhaps afford to expend 
as much — but to go beyond this would not be possible. So 
much for pecuniary conditions. Now, then, for others not 
less pressing. 

Roebuck is ill. ( h.'casiou'dly he is in a state of nervous 
excitement which renders writing painful. Such was his state 
yesterday and to-day. On such occasions it is that he and I feel 
the manner in which the men who can and ought to have assisted 
us ill this undertaking have left us to our own resources in a 
matter which should not have been considered merely personal. 
You, Place, are the only man on whose sympathy ami assistance 
we could rely ; and you know enough of the world to pardon 
me for now laying a burthen on willini;' shoulders. 

This morning Roebuck was fur stop[)ing at once. He urged 




! ; ' 


11 i! 

tliat the session was cominij on, and that he was unequal to the 
hvbonr that he would he called on to underu:o. Few, he said, 
would assist us, and John Jlill couUl find time to labour for 
Fox's Maj,'azine, but not to write a line for the Pamphlets. 
If four or five good men had been invited at the early part of 
the session to contribute articles to the Pamphlets, the labour 
would iiavc been li<,'lit, and the Pamphlets would have become the 
or<,'an of tlie Radical party. It was hard, lie concluded, to leave 
the wliole labour and responsibility on our shoulders. 

Sucli, as nearly as I can remember, were his words. Now, 
what is to be done ? Two things are wanted. First, some 
money; second, tlie assistance of some writers. At Hume's, on 
Friday, Perronct Thompson spoke in high terms of the Pamiihlets. 
He said he had purchased the whole volume, and it delighted 
him, and that he should lii<e to write in it. Now, Perronct 
Thompson can bdth write and spare money. 

Jjast week at lUiUer's, Roebuck met Leader, the member 
for Rridgewater. Leader stated that he was anxious to render 
himself useful to the Lib(.'ral cause, both in and out of Parliament. 
Roebuck said, " You go to too nuiny parties to become a hard- 
working man." Leader seemed hurt — defended himself from 
the party-going accusation, and again expressed a desire to be 
useful. Leader also can spare money. 

Tho writer goes on to suggest that applications be 
made to Sir William Molcsworth, Perronet Thompson, 
John Mill, Hume, and Leader, and — somewhat surprising 
after the letter to the Timc^, quoted on page GI — to Grote. 


Josrph Hiimo, M.P., lo Frftiir/s Place. 

Br//ansfo)i Sqiuiir, Janiinr}/ 30, l.s;3n. — I hasten to answer 
your letter of tin's date, and to return ]\Ir. Chapman's letter to 
you respecting Roebuck's Pamphlet. It is not my fault that he 
is in that situation, as I advised him to be (]uite sure of the 
means he had of carrying it on before ho began. He was quite 
certain of John Mill and others he mentioned as contributors to 
the Pamphlet, and he was also quite certain it would more than 
pay after the first two or three months. When you spoke to me 
in respect to funds, I spoke to thirty or forty of those members 




whom I thoiii^'ht I'koly from their acquaiiitanco with Roebuck, 
aud tlioir support of the ciiusu, to suppcirt by subscription the 
Pamplilut. ... I only collected about JC70. ... I mot with so 
many rebnfTs from those I had expected to find (piite ready 
on principle, that I cannot do more in tlie uioney way, thou<?h 
I am most anxious to see it go on. I have recommended 
it everywhere by special notes, and done all in my power to 
promote its success, and I consider that the allowing,' it to drop 
will hi the severest blow to Roebuck that he Iuh had. It will 
be an admission of failure ; of inability to keep up his work, etc. 

I can have no hesitation in saying that when Mr. Roebuck 
expects the co-operation of others in a general and common cause, 
he must not be so self-important as to think that every person 
must give way to him and implicitly obey his mandates. He 
in reality does so, and yet comphiius that others will not support 

I ani as ready as any man to speak and to act as I think right ; 
but when 1 want the co-operation and assistance of others to 
carry a point, I am necessarily obliged to yield part of my 
opinions to those who are to assist mc. But Mr. Roebuck has 
not done so, as you may learn by speaking to Mr. Grote, liis 
longest and most intimate friend, who took the trouble to 
contradict in the Timoa a statement that ]\Ir. Roebuck had made, 
and refused, when I asked him to subscribe to support the 
Pamphlet, on the ground that he could not identify himself with 
Mr. Roebuck's ultra and startling reforms. 

I would also add that if some of my opinions and suggestions 
had been attended to by Mr. Roebuck, he would have had more 
friends, and have been in a better condition to support and carry 
the objects he has in view, than he will be if deserted by those 
with whom he should act, and on whom he should rely for support 
on the pinch. 

... I should think, if you will interfere, the work will go 
on nsefully to the public and with credit to Mr. Roebuck. If 
it falls now, it will damage him much. . . . 

P.S. — "Xou may still command my best assistance, and as 1 nm 
unwilling to liirt Mr. Roebuck's feelings in any way, you will 
act accordingly. 

The inevitable result followed. The last Pamphlet of 






tho scries, published on February 11, IS.'JO, contained an 
announceiniiiL by Mr. lloebuelc of discontinuance, on ac- 
count of increase of labour consequent on the reassembling; 
of Parliament. 

Roebuck an'ain took prominent part in the debates of 
the session. The peers havinij introduced such amond- 
ments into the Frish Municipal Corporations IJill afV com- 
pelled tho Government to drop that measure, ho r«A<'v,ed 
his attacks upon the House of Lords. IIowever,liPsai(l, 
their Lordships had only acted after their kind. The fault 
was not theirs, but that of their institution. If the people 
of England wished to continue a Ueforminjj; Parliament, 
they must aid to put down that irrcsponsil)le body. 

On the motion of Lord Dudley Stuart, " As to the etlect 
on British interests of the policy pursued by Russia," Mr. 
Roebuck spoke at some len<;th. He deprecated threatenini; 
Russia with denunciations of war, but he e([ually repu- 
diated the notion that the Government shouUl cower down 
before her. The true policy of England was openly to 
avow that she would always be ready to vindicate her 
interests in any part of the globe whenever and wherever 
they were threatened or encroached upon. Proudly relying 
upon her own strength and national sense of justice to 
safeguard her interests, she should endeavour, as far as 
was compatible with this, to preserve peace, since the 
consequences of a war between England and Russia must 
be a general conflagration among the difierent states of 

It was in this session that Mr. Roebuck, in a speech 
against the stamp duties, drew a contrast between the 
stamped and tho unstamped press, very much to the 
advantage of the latter. Then up jumped Mr. Kearsley, 
member for Wigan, in a towering rage. He described this 
as " the most disgusting speech he had ever heard." The 
chairman of committee (Mr. Bernal) ordered him to with- 
draw these words. Ho refused, and, when Mr. Paul 





Methucn ciuuo to the aid of the clminimn, cjaculatotl, 
"Paul, Paul, why persocutost thou mo i* " and attempted 
to leavo the Housi'. This was not permitted, howovor 
until, with j^ivat ditliculty, hu had been made U) apolo;;i/,o. 
Sir William iMolosworth wait)d upon him in an anto-room 
on Mr. Koobuck's bohalf, and was treated with such rude- 
ness that he retired perforce with his mission unaccom- 
plished. Mr. Uoebuck then related the circumstances t<» 
the House, and concluded by sayin<:f that he must " for<j[et 
the drunkeji antics of this member tor \Vi<^an." 

Towards the close of the session Mr. Uoebuck's name 
be<,'an lVe(|uently to be found in the lists of pairs, and 
eventually ho had to leavo London on account of ill-health. 
He returned, though seriously ill, to vote in the last 
division on the Irish Tithe Bill, and then left for Hamp- 
shire, to take that necessary rest which his multifarious 
duties had prevented ever since ho had been a member 
of the House, and the need of which had prostrated his 
system. Rest did not accomplish his cure, but he for- 
tunately gained permanent relief in a remarkable maiuier 
by a five days' course of treatment under Dr. EUiotson; 
and wlicn ho next went to Bath, in January, lSli7, he was 
able to declare himself in better health than he had been 
for years. 

The neuralgia in the knee returnoil again and again, and 
finally yielded to careful and gentle treatment only in 1S44. 

Another session had increased the disappointment 
caused by the non-fulfilment of the expectations of great 
political advances looked for at the hands of a Koformetl 
Parliament. This found angry expression in the autumn, 
and led to not a little mutual recrimination in the ranks 
of the Radicals themselves.* Hero, as in most of the 

* Tuit, in liis Edlnhunjh Magazine, hiul loui; before rcuiDnstriileil with 
the lliuUciils on their wiiut of colic'sioii and co-o[K'rntion. Ilf liml toKl tiieni 
phiinly that they were injpotent bocnnso of fatiil isohition, i:vt'ry one of them 
giving himself the airs of a leader, and elaiming to take his own line. 






HIM m 

t ^ IIIIM 




lUI lU 11.6 





W133TER,N.Y. 14580 

(716) 873-4503 



I w 

advanced movements of the period, Mr. Francis Place was 
the mainspring. In his incessant endeavours to stimulate 
the reformers to ceaseless effort, he spared no one ; and the 
manner in which whip and spur were used gives insight 
into a hitherto unwritten chapter of the hidden influences 
which mould history. 

Mr. John Stuart Mill * speaks of the manner in which 
the hopes, founded on the presence of the philosophical 
Radicals in Parliament, had been disappointed. This, as 
an expression of the outward and general flow of affairs 
at this time, may appropriately introduce letters which 
show the under currents. 

The men were honest and faithful to their opinions as far as 
votes were concerned, often in spite of much discourap:ement. 
AVhen measures were proposed, flagrantly at variance with their 
principles, such as the Irish Coercion Bill, or the Canada Coercion 
in 18;J7, they came forward manfully, and braved any amount of 
hostility and prejudice rather than desert the right, but on the 
whole they did so little to promote any opinions ; they had little 
enterprise, little activity ; they left the lead of the Radical portion 
of the House to the old hands, to Hume and O'Connell. A partial "• 
exception must be made in favour of one or two of the younger 
men ; and in the case of Roebuck it is his title to permanent 
remembrance, that in the first year during which he sat in 
Parliament he originated (or reoriginated after the unsuccessful 
attempt of Mr. Brougham) the Parliamentary movement for 
National Education, and that he was the first to commence, , 
and for years carried on almost alone, the contest for the self- \J 
government of the colonies. Nothing, on the whole, equal to 
these two things was done by any other individual, even of those 
from whom most was expected. And now, on calm retrospection, "^ 
I can perceive that the men were less in fault than we supposed, 
that we had expected too much from ^hem. They were in un- 
favourable circumstances. Their lot was cast in the ten years 
of inevitable reaction. ... It would have required a great political 
leader, which no one is to be blamed for not being, to have 

" Autobiography," pp. 194-196. 



effected really <,neat thing.^ by Parliamentary discussion, when the 
nation was in this mood. 

J. A. Roehick to Francis Place. 

Christchnrch, Hants, Scpfemler^^, 183G. — [Respecting a project 
for bringing forward Sir William Molesworth for Westminster.] 
His [Molesworth's] absence from the House of Commons would 
be a great loss — a loss in this way : There are some three or 
four (not more) men who have courage to say and do what is 
right in that House. Now, it is of great importance in this 
wealth-loving aristocratic country to have among those men a 
rich man, of good standing and rank. Molesworth filled up this 
gap for us. Moreover, he did so with great effect, as he is a 
person of no mean ability and very great industry. He is ever 
anxious to learn, is studious, and in the right way. Being young, 
he would soon acquire the art of speaking, which older men 

To the same. 

October 2, 1836. — [From Christchurch.] And now. Father 
Place, a word with you. You are a good hand at a general 
blow up ; but I should particularly like to know in what I deserve 
blame for my Parliamentary conduct last year. Before the 
House met I proposed to test the Whigs, and to separate from 
them if they would not come up to our mark. What was the 
consequence ? Why, all you prudent politicians went half mad. 
There was running to and fro, aud threats and prayers and 
remonstrances without end. Even Hume grew frightened. 
Well, the session came, and did I in one single instance lose an 
opportunity of giving the ministers a dressing ? Oh, but you 
will say, you did nothing about the Stamp x\ct. How could I ? 
I was here sick, almost at my last gasp ; and then you say one and 
all deserve a cart-whip. This universal blame is very easy, but 
exceedingly unjust. No man did what I did last session, and yet 
you make no exceptions. All are bad because all were not good 
— this is your logic. You know the House of Commons, and 
ought to know what one man has to face in that House. When 
you have a party it is all very fine and easy ; but stand alone, 
and try. I wish some of you that talk so much would make the 







attempt. You all seem to forget that if a man be poor, unallieil 
to great people, and young, he has a very hard fight to fight. It 
is something, as any of you would find if you were to try, even 
to get a hearing. 'Tis something more to have thoroughly 
cowed the House into respect. All this I have done ; but Rome 
was not built in a day ; and if I cannot do everything, in the 
name of justice do not confound me with the fools and cowards 
who do nothing. But this is the way of the wo. Id ; and you, I 
find, are not above the world in this. 

Your distribution of blame is on the same principle as that of 
the imstamped. Agree with them in all things, one only excepted, 
and you are rogue, thief, and liar. Do all that you can, but fail 
to effect all you desire, and you instantly call one an ass, a fool, 
a coward, a rogue. Do you believe that this will conduce to tlie 
public good ? Public men have feelings, and justice should be 
done even to these men. I am heartily sick of my friends. My 
opponents I expected would abuse me, but I have ever found that 
the most bitter of all my violent abusers were my intimate friends. 
This is very agreeable. You want to know something about 
Stevens. Ask Black to show you the letters he wrote to me in 
the papers, challenging me to fight. 

FranciH Place io J. A. Roclmrk. 

October 3, 1836. — No, Roebuck, if I am not quite right, I am 
all but so. I send you a paper I wrote some time ago for 
Hetherington's Despalch. You will there see that in respect to 
the newspaper tax I excluded you from all censure, on, I am sorry 
to say, the true cause, your sad indisposition. I hope you are 
now much better, and that you will tell me so. I know your 
spirit, your talents, your courage — and I know also your vexatious 
disposition, which has led you to talk too acutely in the latter part 
of your letter. I do not look to immediate success in the House. 
I blame no one because he is not successful. I know all the 
difficulties a man has to contend with in the House, but he who 
cannot overcome them is not a man fitted for the present time. 
You have overcome them, forced attention and compelled respect 
— which in all such cases must be more the effect of fear than 
love. I have fought for you all along against all sorts of people, 
and have maintained that you, and you alone, were the man to be 





relied on. But you — yes, you, John Roebuck — are not as yet quite 
up to the mark. I see the greatest pccsible changes in prospective, 
and I know how much of good or evil in those changes must be 
expected from the conduct of the present House of Commons. I 
should be satisfied if I saw but six men who would despise the 
opinion of the House when circumstances made it necessary, and 
stood up for principle, Le. for the people. It was a duty which 
on no account should have remained unperformed when the 
English Municipal Bill came back from the Lords. A stand 
should have been made. Some man should have moved that the 
Bill be rejected, on the preamble. Had such a motion been made 
all the backsliders would have been tested, and a considerable 
impression made upon the public. Hume said he would do it. 
He wrote so on the morning of the meeting in Downing Street. 
He went there, and succumbed. To what ? To Lord John 
Russell. And why ? Because the Whigs threatened to resign. 
Men who think the resignation of the Whigs a reason for 
deserting the people, are of no use to the people ; fit only to 
keep a truckling set of Tories, under the name of Whigs, in 
office, and thus to drivel down, as low as it can be drivelled 
down, the whole nation into a state of contemptible imbecility. 
When the mischief was done, several members condemned their 
own conduct, but not one of them changed it. They, indeed, 
changed their tone, complained of the Lords, talked largely of 
" belling the cat," but no one of the timid mice had the courage 
to cut the ministers on any occasion. No, they must not even 
be perplexed, they must be kept in office. Bah ! When the 
time came that the Irish Municipal Bill must go to the Lords, 
Hume wrote to me. He said, " So surely as the Bill goes to the 
Lords, so surely will they throw it out ; and then what shall we 
do ? " I said, " I will exclude you and three others " — meaning, 
as he understood. Roebuck, Thompson, Molesworth — " and then 
I will tell you what the House of Commons will do. They will 
put up with the flogging the Lords will give them, put their 
tails between their legs, and crawl away to their kennels like 
curs, as they are, and the Lords would deserve to be damned 
outright if they did not flog them." Well, what did the Lords 
do ? They altered the Bill. They rejected the preamble ; put 
another in its place, and made a new Bill of it. They did all 
it was possible for them to do in their own House to insuui. 





the Commons, and yet not one man was found to move that the 
Bill be rejected — no, not one. They let the Lords act like lords 
and masters, and they conducted themselves humbly like their 
liveried servants. ... No such man was found. The House 
submitted. It was dragged through the mire by ministers, and 
the Lords, seeing tht plight they were in, treated them with 
the contempt they deserved. The Lords triumphed simply 
because no such man showed himself to the people. ... At the 
Liberal meetings, as they are called, dinners to shilly-shally 
members, nothing but misleading treacherous Whiggery is talked ; 
no symptom of right feeling is shown anywhere — none will be 
shown while the people are satisfied there are no public men in 
whom they can place confidence. . . . \'/hen I look at the last 
two sessions, and then think, as the proceedings have often made 
me do, of the House of Commons' men from the accession of 
James I. to the shortening of Charles I., and compare them with 
our House of Common?' men, I feel all but infinitely ashamed, 
and shuffle off the uneasy feeling as well as I can. Will you say 
that the course I have pointed out, as I pointed out at the times 
alluded to, and in good time to allow for action, could not be 
taken — was impossible ? Then I shall say the House of Commons 
is no place for you, nor can it be for any honest man. It can 
be useful only to those who are seeking present personal 
advantage. . . . Had the House acted properly, had the Reformers 
acted sensibly and boldly, no one can now tell what beneficial 
changes might have been effected, what in progress. Sure I am 
that there could have been no chance for the continuance of a 
Tory administration. And why have not these things been 
done ? Why but because ministers must be kept in their places. 
The live lumber. Lord John and Lord Melbourne, and Spring 
Eice and John Hobhouse, and Glenelg, etc., must not be removed, 
no, nor made useful in any way. This, Ecebuck, " is toe bad." 
Well, well, there goes all my malice. I will have nothing to do 
with political men, or political matters in connection with 
members of Parliament, until I see a great change in the right 
way approaching, and this I at present have no expectation of 

Vanity apart, or vanity indulged — I care not which — but 
I do believe that were I in the house, you and I could — aye, 
and would— do much of what ought to be done. Though we 


Should be botli bitterly hated, despised we would not be. But 
the hatred even would not last beyond a session or two. There 
It 1 have expected more from you than from any other man. 
surely that ought to satisfy you. 

The strain on the homogeneity of the Radicals was 
largely increased by the circumstances under which pro- 
posals were launched for a great dinner in honour of the 
members for Middlesex, Mr. Joseph Hume, and Mr. George 
Byng. It was intended ostensibly as a demonstration of 
harmony between the Whigs and the Radicals, and to 
cement their alliance. Place saw in this a deep design 
for making the Radicals instruments in strengthening 
the Whigs, and he spared no effort to prevent his friends 
from allowing themselves to be used as ministerial tools. 

Francis Place to Josejph Haim^ M.P. 

December 30, 1836.— It would be a guinea ill-bestowed in 
hearmg fulsome praises of the Administration and resolutions 
ambiguously worded in the true Whig style, to secure the assent 
of those who may be committed by being present, in supportino- 
mmisters in breaking down, as far as they can, the energies of the 
people, 111 causing them to have no confidence in public men. . 
All the speeches, resolutions, and shoutings, will promote' this 
unless you and Colonel Thompson take a line of conduct precisely 
the opposite of that which the Whig managers of the meetino- 
-viU take. It seems to me that you should, on this occasion'! 
place yourselves in a situation which, as matters become 
developed, will induce the public to look towards, and rely 
upon, you two, Roebuck and Molesworth, as men on whom 
they may safely rely, in whom they may place their full con- 
fidence. ... I know no one besides you four in whom confidence 
can, or ought to be placed ; but you are enough if, disregarding 
present imputations and vexations, you go on upon a broad plan, 

and trust to time for your justification This meeting will 

be a crisis of great importance to the nation, and much may 

depend on what you and Thompson may say So general 

may be the evil, so general and so lasting the good, that I am 





aiiro T do not ovorsfcop tlio duty of ii frioiid in calliiij^ upon yoii 
to i^ivo tlio m;ittor your moat sorioiis iitttMitioii. 

,/oxi'l)li, Hiimr, M.P., lo Frtniris P/arr, 

Jiiin/iir// 1, 18;?7. — You need not bo iifnxid of mo iis to wlmt 
I sliiill sivy. ... If yon will put down on paper wliiit you would 
siiy iuid do vvoro you in my \)\mg, I shall bo able to see how far 
we difft'r, and in what, and to recjonsider all snu;j^estions. Yon 
may dopiMid upon it that no nrran,u:ement will i^ive other than a 
Kftdical characlcr, if the Radicals will attend. 

./. A . llorhvi'k lo Fninrix Placp. 

Ihilli, Janiiiirif I, 1S;57. — I have read your letter to irumo 
with very ,u;ivat pleasure. [ wrote him one on tlie same day, on 
tlic same subject, and our views coincide exactly. The dinner 
appeared to me just in the li<?ht it did to you, and I took the 
liberty of tellinj? Jlnme so; in consequence of which he sends 
me word, as usutd, that I am impudent — "union neccssaiy amouf; 
reformers," and other stutV of the same kind. Now, this is too 
bad. I had hoped that by this time Riidi(;als would not be as 
bliud as new-boru puppies. What will open their eyes if the 
experience of the last two years have failed to efTect that desired 
object ? I am to see IMolesworth and Leader to-night, and shall 
stronu;ly insist on the courec you recommend. Last Monday I 
met the people here, ami pretty plainly stated my mind as to the 
WhiiLjs, and it took admirably. We had a devil of a row after- 
wards about the poor laws, in whicli I did that for the Whigs 
they would never have dared to do for themselves — to say nothing 
of their doing the same by us — viz. shared at once, and without 
circumlocution, the responsibility of the poor law. The fight 
ended well, and I dealt pretty hard blows on all who yelped a 
foolish disapprobation. 

I am puzzled beyond measure when I endeavour to learn what 
is meant by Hume and the Prudents. They say, " Do not let 
VH destroy the Whigs, but let them fall to pieces." Now, try this 
statement by a homely illustration. A broken pitcher, kept 
together by a string, is no bad representation of the present 
ministry and the Rads. The ministers are the broken pitcher, 
and the Rads the string. Now, suppose some one to say, 




" Let lis not Itrciik lliis pitclicr to pieces ; no, only let uh ]hi1I Uk; 
striiif,' oir," wliiit slioiild you Kay to siicli ii speech ? Wliy, tlmt 
tiikirif^f tli(! strin.i^' off necessarily implies l)reakin^' tlie pitclier to 
pieces — Icttintf it fall and niakiii;; it fall to ])ieces Iteiuj; tlie same 
tiling'. Thus say I to Ilmno & Co. : Prudent men, you ahuHc 
the Wlii;,'s. You say you are ready and detei'mined to HiK;ak all 
you thiid\, and divide niton every iinjiortant question without 
ref(!i'en(:(! to the Whij^s, and yet yon talk of keepiii!^^ them in 
jtower. Now, tliis is not honest, or it is very silly. If you do 
as you say, the Whi;;s cannot remain in olliee. Why, then, 
disguise this act of yours by sliam names ? This which you 
say you will do /s' bfatkhitj llu; niinis/r// lo /nWes, turniuf^ them 
out and lettiiifj^ 1 1 the Tories. The Whi^'S know and say this ; 
why should we fclxcltf deny it, and by lyings glo/j'ny words, try 
to cheat them and the world? Ifowever, F need nob preach 
to you. 

Fivitris f'/arc lo J. A. Hochnrk. 

Jdiiudrjf o, 1H;57. — I have had a long but anuca])le dispute with 
Madam Grote. She is by far the best of the party, but she is so 
surrounded by tlie dawdlers that her own strong understanding 
gives way, and she is blinded to the fact that to compromise, as 
she (ialls it, is to submit. . . . She and they are for showing at 
the dinner on the 2;}rd that tlie Reformers and the Whigs will 
continue to pull together against the Tories, i.i\ the lleformers 
will consent to be stultified, that the Tories, divided into two 
sections niider the names of Whigs and Coiiservatives, may 
balance cacli other and prevent anything useful being done. 
This would at any time be a bad game to play, and now especially 
it would be a miserably bad game. Madam Grote is wonderfully 
pleased with IMolesworth's excellent article in the llvclvw. She 
says that Grote is tilled witli admiration of its excellent points, 
and she talks again of compromising as a proper measure. She 
read to me some (ixtracts from a letter from Molesworth ; among 
others, this : If Grote speaks out on the ballot he will be silent. 
This would be compromising with a vengeance ! lie had better 
resolve not to compromise at all, nor do anything that has a 
tendency to let down the fame the article in the R"vkw and his 
recent conduct will procure for him. Hold his tongue he cannot. 
At the dinner he must be. The people will have a speech from 





him, aud it must be an uncompromising one. Fie is a mude man 
if, on this occasion, he talks principles as well as he writes them. 

While this correspondence was going on, Mr. Roebuck 
and his colleague in the representation of Bath, General 
Palmer, were again entertained by the Reformers of that 
city at a banquet. At this Sir William Molesworth, M.P., 
Mr. John Temple Leader, M.P., Colonel William Napier, 
and Colonel Charles Napier, were present. There General 
Palmer's speech in defence of Lord Grey and Lord Mel- 
bourne was interpreted by Mr. Roebuck into an attack upon 
his hostility to the Whigs. He retaliated with his accus- 
tomed pungency. The speeches of Molesworth, Leader, 
and the Napiers were all strongly Radical and anti- 
ministerial. After the loyal toasts, and preceding the 
army and navy, came the favourite toast of the Bath 
Radicals, " The People, the only source of political power." 

J. A. Roehuclc to Mrs. Roebuck. 

Bath, Januarij C, 18.37. — Our dinner went off admirably. The 
report of the doings will be a failm-e, I imagine. Leader and 
Molesworth's speeches were ready written ; mine was off-hand ; 
Napier's elaborately prepared, but he seems not to have actually 
written it. . . . Of Molesworth and Leader I cannot speak too 
highly. In the former there is by far the more thought, but 
Leader will be a useful, and by no means a commonplace man. 
Yesterday Charles Napier was evidently surprised at our fashion 
of doing things. This " strategy " is new to him, in which mind 
and not the body fights. You are right as to Mrs. Grote ; she is, 
and will be for ever, jealous of everybody who puts Grote into the 
shade. She ought, in truth, to be jealous of Grote, for he himself 
causes his own eclipse. If he would do anything, his reward in 
praise and esteem would be boundless. 

Josqjfi Hume, M.P., to Francis Place. 

Worthin fj, January h, 18,37. — You may depend upon it that the 
proceedings which you so much complain of in the last session 
were almost unavoidable. But nothing of the same kind will take 
place in the ensuing session, as you will see. I think if you had 





been in the House yourself, you could not liuvo done otherwise 
than we jjonerally did. 

T. Permiet Thompson, M.P., fo Francis rime. 

Jammtij 7, 1837. — Havinj? occasion to write to Hume to-day, I 
have directed his attention to the (oast as <jjivcn at Bath, " His 
Majesty's Ministers, and may they continue in power as lonj? as 
they advance the cause of the people," and asked him whether it 
might not prevent dantjer of dispute if the toast was to stand so at 
the Middlesex dinner. As it has been given once at a dinner of 
Whigs and Radicals, that makes a precedent. 

In reply, Mr. Place objected at length for five reasons. 
"If," he wrote, "the toast be given, I shall turn up my 
glass and remain seated ; as many more as may choose will 
do the same." 

Francis Place to Joseph Hume, M.P. 

Jamiary 16, 1837. — You now see who are to be stewards at the 
Whig dinner, and among them are the names of leading men who 
have played you false — men whom you well know would not 
become stewards excepting on one well-understood condition, 
namely, that Mr. Hume should not be made the prominent feature 
of the meeting. The original pretence was " the generally ex- 
pressed desire of the reformers of Middlesex to give some testimony 
of approbation to the conduct of their two members." Yet men 
were at once solicited to become stewards which showed at once 
that this was a false pretence. Roebuck and Molcswortli were 
especially excluded from any invitation, and a character not to be 
mistaken given to the meeting. Hume was to be a mere incident, 
since it was understood that neither Roebuck nor Molesworth 
was invited, and that they had determined not to go to the feast. 
All those with whom I have had intercourse resolved not to go, 
and so did I. 

Not long before, Hume had in conversation said that 
Mr. Byng (his colleague) was then, and had ever since been, 
his concealed er.emy, and had done all he dared to do 
underhand to oust him. 







Notwithstanding this, at tlio Middlesex dinner, Humo 
desperately affronted his allies by thus speaking : — 

Tliat man must have a flinty lioarb who could sit unmoved 
under the speeeh of my honourable friend [Mr. Byni^]. ... In 
him our young friends may see the gratifyin<j and honoured con- 
sequences of pursuing a straightforward course without tnrning 
to the right hand or to the left, by any hereditary prejudices, 
personal partialities, or selfish interests, but rigidly adhering to the 
advocacy of those important questions which involve the rights 
and interests of the people. 

Fmnck Place to Joso^jh Parlces. 

Jnaiinry 27, 1837. — Well, the Bartlemy Fair Show passed off 
as became it. Take away the manly, honest speech of Grote, and 
what will remain ? Nothing but glitter and gabble. It was a 
poorer thing in respect to speech-making — f J rote again excepted — 
than any public poHtical dinner meeting I ever knew in West- 
minster. To IJyng no honour Avas done ; none could be done. 
To Hume none was intended, and he did himself none. The 
Whigs ! Bah ! All the great big bugs staid away. Honour to 
ministers, none. It showed the public that the so-called friends 
of ministers were, like themselves, poor things, fit only to be 
sneered at by the Tories. ... It has done nothing for ministers. 
y^ou must know that the Tories expect to carry an amendment 
on the address in the Lords with a large majority, and to lose 
it in the Commons with a very large majority. May not the 
king, who refuses to open the Parliament in person, be induced 
by these circumstances to turn out the imbeciles ? Should he 
do this, there will be howling enough in the Whig faction, 
and the people will, I hope, stand aloof, and see the Tory sections 
worry one another. 

Mrs. Grote admitted the extreme mortification the 
proceedings had caused to her and her husband. She 
never saw him " so ashamed and contrite," and they spent 
the next day " covered, as it we. , in sackcloth and ashes," 
mourning a great opportunity lost. Place improved the 
occasion by urging that Grote should — 





Stiuid upon the kuowkdyc lie possossoH ; take it as liis rule, and act 
upon it, utterly vegardlesn of what any one may think or say. 
He niiiy then push the world before him. He would he a host 
in himself, and would soon he surrounded by u host of the best 
men in the world, not to advise him, hut to carry out his pur- 
poses. ... If he would not fear to make occasional mistakes, 
as all men nmst, but relyinj,' on his own sound and comprehensive 
understandinff, put himself at once into his high and proper 
position, he would indeed become lliv people's man, and the cause 
of there being many other people's men. lie and every such 
man should be, thus far, ambitious. 






Under the influence of these events, Mr. Roebuck seized 
the opportunity afforded by the reassembling of Parlia- 
ment (1837), to deliver, in the debate on the Address in 
reply to the King's Speech, an attack upon the Govern- 
ment, directed from the extreme democratic standpoint. 
This, while it incurred the wrath of Whigs, brought from 
working men's associations, in all parts of the countiy, 
many congratulatory addresses. The speech was reprinted 
in cheap form, and scattered broadcast. It excited the 
more attention because of standing out in marked contrast 
with the attitude of other Reformers, whether they ab- 
stained from the debate or took part in it. The press 
rang with defences and denunciations of Mr. Roebuck's 
conduct. The Spectator drew the following picture of the 
House and its attitude : — 

Mr. Roebuck startled the House by a speech perhaps the 
most remarkable that had been delivered in Parliament since the 
times when Lords were voted useless. Mr. Roebuck's manner 
was well suited to the matter of his speech. It was vehement 
without being noisy ; impressive, but not solemn ; plain, but not 
vulgar ; contemptuous, but not insolent. For the most part he 
was heard in silence, and when he sat down there was no audible 
encouragement. The feeling of the House was made up of 
surprise, displeasure, and apprehension, such as is usually caused 
in polite assemblies by the home-thrust of disagreeable truths. 
In this way the absence of cheering is accounted for. But the 
House paid Mr. Roebuck a higher compliment than can be 



conveyed by shouting ; the representatives of the people listened 
to him for an hour together, without impatience or fatigue. 

Perhaps the most remarkable part of this able speech (wrote 
one who viewed it from the gallery) was that where Mr. Koe- 
buck loudly proclaimed himself a Democrat. The honourable 
member over and over again referred to the struggle con- 
stantly going on in this country between the democratic and 
aristocratic parties. He seemed to feel keen pleasure in throw- 
ing the word " democracy " in the very teeth of the House of 
Commons, and told them plainly that, since 1(588, the Govern- 
ment of England was not monarchic, as was so often asserted, 
but an aristocratic republic. I watched narrowly the effect 
of this speech on the House, and I must say that I never 
saw men of all parties look more uncomfortable. The truths 
were cutting and severe, and the language bold and manly to an 
extent that the walls of St. Stephen's must have been astonished 
to hear tolerated. Mr. Roebuck's speech, as might be expected, 
was most disagreeable to the Whigs, and therefore they naturally 
received it coldly. The Tories were still worse treated, and they 
gave it no kind look of reception or recognition. Even the 
Radical party, with very few exceptions, turned their backs on 
the speaker, and knew him not. But if they reject him, there 
are others who will joyously hold out the hand of fellowship and 
support, and take pride in supporting Mr. Roebuck and men 
resembling him in moral courage and talent. The people want 
such advocates, and those depending with confidence on the 
people's support have always been sure of finding it. To account 
still more fully for the coldness with which Mr. Roebuck's speech 
was received, it may be well to remind my readers that the last 
session terminated with a most violent speech from Mr. Hume 
against ministers. He was still thundering forth when the 
Commons were summoned to hear the king read his speech. 
Ministers evidently dreaded the secession from their side of a 
man so powerful as Hume. They would naturally try to come 
to terms with him ; and it is supposed, with a great appearance 
of probability, that during the recess a new compact has been 
entered into between them and a section of the Radical party. . . 
Roebuck and some other ultra-Radicals are not, it is said, a 
party to this agreement, and accordingly wc find him fiercely 




denouncing the conduct of ministers as soon as the Address is 
moved. Hume got up to speak, not to take part with the 
member for Bath, not to reiterate the violent speech of the last 
day of the past session, but to declare that the present moment 
was not the best for insisting on extreme pi'occcdings on the part 
of ministers. 

The tone Hume took, naturally enough, strained still 
further the loyalty of his friends. "His doctrine," they 
said, " was admi.^ably calculated to encourage the Whigs in 
every species of misdeed. His worst enemy could hardly 
have wished him to have made a worse speech." 

Francis Place 1o J. A. Roebtick. 

Fehniary 1, 1837. — Words cannot express my admiration of 
the report of your speech last night in the House of Commons, 
which I have just now read in the ConsfifufMnal, in preference 
to the Chfonic/p. God bless you, my dear boy ! The grovelling 
hound in the Chronirlp says you represent yourself. Good, very 
good ! The stultified beast does not see that unintentionally he 
bestows the highest possible praise on you. Yes, yes. Be single- 
minded, single-hearted ; never mind to-day, nor to-morrow ; 
work on for the time that is coming, and you will not be deserted 
in the end. Has Hume lost his acuteness that he dawdles and 
see-saws as he does ? If he can do no better than he did at the 
Whig Bartlemy Fair dinner, and last night in the House, it is 
time his night-cap were drawn over his eyes, and he were put 
away to hibernate the rest of his days. 

J. S. Mill to Francis Place. 

Post Mc(rk, Februanj 10, 1837. — As for Roebuck's speech, 
it has greatly raised his character, and will do good ; but in so 
far as it goes beyond Molesworth, I do not agree with it. 

A fortnight afterwards, at a dinner given to Mr. Thomas 
Wakley by the Finsbury electors, Mr. J. Temple Leader 
in the chair, Mr. Roebuck, in the presence of Mr. Hume, 
Mr. Daniel O'Connell, and Mr. D. W. Harvey, M.P. for 
Southwark, bitterly reproached his Radical allies for leaving 



him to stand alone in propounding really democratic prin- 
ciples. No Liberal member of a Metropolitan constituency, 
he complained, backed him up. He advocated universal 
suffrage, and dared to do it in the House of Commons, in 
the face of six hundred men who would like to turn him 
out of doors. He especially taunted Mr. Harvey, who 
preceded him at the banquet, with speaking boldly in 
Finsbury truths as to which he kept discreet silence in 
the House of Commons. Mr. Harvey, of course, claimed 
the right to defend himself, and there ensued a scene of 
violence altogether out of place at a convivial meeting. 
It is significant of the spirit of the times that the first 
toast proposed from the chair was, " The king — his rights, 
and no more." The second was, " The people — their rights, 
and no less." The third was, " The health of the Princess 

Mr. Roebuck not only took prominent part in the most 
important debates of the session, but he contributed to a 
newspaper " Notes," affecting to be taken by " A Spectator " 
from the gallery, descriptive of the proceedings in the 
House. He was accustomed in these to discuss liis fellow- 
members with great frankness. Describing the proceed- 
ings on the Municipal Corporations of Ireland Bill, in 
which he had spoken incisively, he thus wrote of Lord 
Stanley, whose policy he had vigorously assailed from the 
moment when he entered the House in ] 833, and whom 
he had * called " a mere House of Commons debater — a sort 
of official prize-fighter " — 

To Lord Morpeth followed the renegade Lord Stanley. 
Flippant, petulant, and fierce, he showed himself on this occasion 
to be passion's slave. He had no argument at hand, but he was 
full of threats. " I will," and " I won't," " you shall," and " you 
shall not," seemed the sole figures of his rhetoric, his whole butting 
of reason. How are the mii^hty fallen I I remember the time 
when men hoped much fron is vixen-like stripling — when they 
* TaiCi Edinburgh Ma<j,^.ine, December, 1833, p. 325. 


■ '.-j'-wjf^^ 



believed his virulence to be satire, and his passion eloquence. 
He is now esteemed as he ought to be — a weak and petulant boy, 
too long considered to be a man. * 

But Mr. Roebuck, in these sketches, did not exempt 
himself from his own criticism. Thus, referring to his 
denunciation of illegal practices in connection with a 
motion to suspend the issue of a new writ for StaflFord, 
on which there was hot controversy, he described himself 
as " being laughed at for his pains." 

It was on the 8th of February that he had spoken 
vehemently in favour of the Irish Municipal Corporations 
Bill, begging and entreating the Government not to abate 
one jot or iota of a Bill which placed the two parties in the 
State at issue on matters involving the real democracy of 
England. They were fighting for the real, right, clear, and 
definite rule that the people of Great Britain and Ireland 
were worthy to be their own governors. The Opposition 
said they were not. That was the true principle before 
them. To the people of England he would leave the issue 
of this grand and high debate, certain that the victory 
would be with the right. 

A day or two afterwards Mr. Roebuck was telling the 
House that its continued disfranchisement of Stafibrd for 
bribery was mere hypocrisy. Members did not dislike 
bribery; they practised it. Their protestations of hatred 
were a pretence, otherwise they would stop it in the only 
effectual way — by an extension of the suffrage and by 
adopting the ballot. On Lord John Russell's Canada reso- 
lutions he bluntly informed the House that it was utterly 
ignorant of everything relating to the question on which 
it was going to decide ; and he renewed the attack he had 

* Lord Melbourne and Lord John Russell had both looked upon Stanley 
as the coming successor to Lord Althorp as leader of the Liberal party in 
the Commons (Russell's "Recollections and Suggestions," p. 115; Torrens' 
'« Life of Melbourne," i. 420). Stanley had taken the courtesy title of Lord 
on the death of his grandfather, the twelfth Earl of Derby, in October, 1834. 
He was created a peer in September, 1844. 



made in previous sessions on Sir A. Agnew's " Bill to 
extend to all classes the privilege of protection in the due 
observance of the Lord's Day." 

On the 9th of June he wound up the attacks upon the 
Government which he had continued throughout the 
session by a final assault on their policy, based upon a 
motion for a committee of the whole House to iiquire into 
the state of the nation. 

Even in those days the slowness of Parliamentary pro- 
cedure instated the more ardent spirits. Mr. Roebuck, 
remarking that as, in debate, " the great guns will not go 
off until after ten o'clock, the hours from five to ten are 
thrown away," suggested an adjournment from five to ten. 
" Another plan," he said, " has indeed been proposed, which 
would be equally efficacious, but this has been rejected — 
I mean that of regularly adjourning the House every night 
at twelve punctually. If this were done, the great guns 
would go off" before ten " — a prophecy which, helped by 
Mr. Gladstone's example of speaking before the dinner- 
hour, has since been largely realized. 

Seldom was due recognition made of Mr. Roebuck's 
courage and conduct even by his friends. Testimony like 
the following, coming as it does from the pen of an adver- 
sary, is, therefore, all the more valuable : — 

His very first speech stamped him as a man of superior talent 
as a debater, aud secured for him a hearing at all times ; of which 
he availed himself to advocate the cause of the people in their 
many sufferings. He gave full fling to the democratic tendency 
of his mind, while at the same time he infused a species of 
philanthropy into his exertions. Nothing was too arduous for 
him. On one occasion he stood up and presented a petition from 
an individual unfortunately too notorious. Other members had 
refused to present it ; but Mr. Roebuck believed that the party 
in question had been unjustly treated, aud that was enough to 
induce him to take up the case. ... It is to his honour that he 
does not, as some of his compatriots do, wait till a subject is 
popular before he takes it up. A natural restiveness of temper, 





"f the "TT''^'', '""' '\ ^■"^"^^' ^^'^'■^'^ '^« ™'d «^curo, even 
at the peril of social convulsion, urge him with an irresistible 

of the case w th which he will not allow expediency to interfere 
Of course, this spirit sometimes carries him to extremes and 
betrays him into wild defiance of constituted author^y Tut Ce 
who would be the most likely to shrink from these exLva^ancies 

surin7Mr%""b' T" ^ • "'^" ^^ '''^''' '^^ Tp^SSs" vS 
Z"' against unconquerable prepossessions in the 

member of Parliament. ^ chaiacter-an independent 

iJ V 


( 99 ) 



On the death of King William IV., Mr. Roebuck and his 
colleague. General Palmer, offered themselves for re-election 
as representatives for Bath in the first Parliament of Queen 
Victoria. Although Mr. Roebuck had, in his five years of 
Parliamentary life, abundantly realized the hopes of his 
local Radical supporters, and had strengthened his hold 
upon them, his uncompromising attacks upon the AVhio- 
povernment seemed to the official Liberals to have fully 
justified their original objections to his selection. He had, 
besides, by his outspoken candour, and especially by the 
unsparing scorn he had poured on the attempted Sabba- 
tarian legislation, offended large sections of the constituency. 
There had been long previous preparations for the fio-ht 
Lord Powerscourt, a young Irish Orangeman, and Mr.V 
H. Ludlow Bruges, a Wiltshire squire, were brought out by 
the Conservatives. The Whigs put into the field Captain 
Scobell, a local landowner, and one of the most useful 
members of the Bath and West of England Agricultural 
Society. Ho had shown a generous interest in various 
movements for the improvement of the lot of the agricultural 
labourer, and his speeches during the contest contrasted 
very favourably with the laboured commonplaces of the 
Tory candidates, who shirked the ordeal of facing public 
meetings, preferring rather to give unlimited supp^ers, and 
to organize disturbances to break up their opponents' 







The contest which ensued is known in local annals as 
" The Drunken Election." Treating was rampant, and 
passions ran high. Mr. Koebuck stood at bay against his 
assailants, refusing to give or to take quarter. Captain 
Scobell retired from the contest on the eve of the election, 
declaring afterwards that the wholesale tyranny he had 
witnessed left him no alternative but henceforth to support 
the ballot. On the hustings, at the nomination, Mr. Roebuck, 
by reason of the violence of roughs alleged to have been 
hired for the purpose, could get no hearing, and his 
supporters retaliated by preventing Lord Powerscourt from 

The poll from the first hour went strongly against 
Mr. Roebuck and General Palmer, and by one o'clock the 
contest was virtually over. Mr. Roebuck did not retire 
without firing a Parthian shot at his antagonists. 
Repairing to the hustings as soon as the voting was ended, 
he said — 

Recollect, the minority iu which we are placed is caused by 
Tory gold, Tory intimidation, and "Whig- duplicity. The Tory 
has been open in his endeavours — the Whig has been hidden and 
insidious. You will have cause to remember the event of this 
day. I am no longer the member for Bath, and the poor man 
must now, when he has to complain of the bad administration 
of the Poor Law, or the overbearing conduct of the magistracy 
apply to the Tory members for Bath. ... It is the poor man 
that will suffer. Eight and forty hours will not elapse before you 
will find the difference. . . . The Dissenters will be the first to 
suffer. The Tory votes of their representatives will rivet the 
shackles with which they are bound the more tightly around 
them. And I cannot but rejoice that my connection with them 
is so far severed that I shall not have farther to subject myself 
to reproach in their service. Let them servilely worship their 
rising sun. Let them crawl before his lordship and sycophantly 
adore him. I have done with them. I bid you farewell. I 
have done my duty faithfully by you ; you have not done yours 
by me so faithfully as you ought. 



Mrs. Roebuck has written against a report of her 
husband's first speech opposing Sir A. Agnew's Lord's Day 
Bill: "This speech lost Mr. Roebuck his election in 1837 
for Bath." The Spectato7\ however, made this explanation, 
evidently derived from an authoritative source — 

There were three important subjects affectinsf the defeat of 
Mr. Roebuck. The opinions that ho cited of Archbishop Cranmer 
and of Archbishop Whateley upon the institution of Sunday 
were placarded and made use of to his prejudice, and many 
condemned his refusal to permit the " Lord's Day " to be con- 
verted into the " Reformer's Day." Secondly, it had been 
imagined that there really was a union among Reformers, and 
for the last two years the Radicals in consequence entirely 
neglected the registration of voters. . . . And thirdly, many 
of the Radical members of the Town Council, who had afforded 
active assistance to Mr. Roebuck upon former occasions, had 
differed among themselves upon municipal affairs, and would 
not take an active part together in the business of the election 
committee. . . . The number of electors who polled for him was 
about 140 less than at the former election ; and yet the Tories 
had employed the most extensive machinery to alienate his 
supporters from him. Suppers were given, presided over by 
reputed baronets and reputed gentlemen ; treating was frequent ; 
and the constant scenes of many nights of drunkenness and riot 
in a city distinguished, even during its elections, for its peaceful- 
ness, afforded complete evidence of the source of that defeat 
which ministerial journals ascribe to "going too far" and "im- 
practicable theories." The Liberals gave no suppers; they 
attempted to deliauch no elector ; they most honourably re- 
fused, upon the last as upon two former occasions, to permit 
Mr. Roebuck personally to canvass a single elector, and yet the 
Whigs have no sympathy with a party so honourably distinguished 
by its conduct. 



Mr. Roebuck did not fall alone. Not a few of the 
prominent men with whom he had been most closely 
associated also lost their seats ; indeed, the elections resulted 
in something approaching to a Radical rout. 





Mrs, Gi'oto In Fivnn's PUirc. 

Ikrno, Aiif/u^flC), 18.S7. — Hume's dcfcut [Middlesex] cut us up 
siidly, though he always told us (and told Lord Joliu Russell also) 
if the raa<;istracy was not pur.ijed such would l)e the consequeucu 
at the ensuinjf election. I see he is iu for Kilkenny. Rut where 
are Roebuck, Ewart [Liverpool], Thompson [Maidstone], and 
Hutt [Hull], alas I and Daniel Gaskell [Wakefield], and 
Trelawny [Cornwall] ? What havoc surely ! And Grote no 
secure either ! * Those Whigs have most of it to answer for — 
that's my belief. 

Francis Pliia; to Mrn. Grote. 

AvfjUHt 23, 1837. — Hume's defeat had no such effect upon me 
as it seems to have had upon you. I cared but little for his being- 
rejected, and wish he had not ))een returned for Kilkenny. 
Hume's conduct has not been good during the last two sessions 
— no, nor that indeed of any of the Reformers in the House of 
Commons, Roebuck's alone excepted, and his only in the last 
session. In no one instance did they pull together as they ought 
to have done. On every occasion they submitted to Lord John. 
... In this they showed want of foresight and of every statesman- 
like (luality. . . . Sure I am that if every one of the Reformers 
had been rejected it would have been more to the advantage of 
the nation than some or all of them being returned could be. A 
session without them would be of great use. It would be seen 
that the Russells, the Melbounies, the Rices, and the Hobhouses, 
etc., could not have made headway against the Tories. Thus the 
value of the Reformers would be seen by themselves and by the 
public, bringing public acknowledgment of them — although this 
would be but a negative position, and consequently less imposing- 
than it would be if it had been taken by themselves in a direct 
and combined opposition in the House of Commons. Had the 
Reformers done their duty, there would have been a coalition of 
the Whigs and Tories ; the people would have been roused, and 
the very name of Whig abolished. There would then be only 
Reformers and Tories. The battle must thus have been fought 
on open ground : there could then have been no lagging, no 

* A petition was tlireatened against Grote'a return for the City of Loudon, 
where he liold hia seat by only six votes. 



shufflinfir, no sknlkinj? ; and tlio Ruforraors, hacked by the people, 1 1 
woiikl have con(|uered. But never mind. The event has oidy 
been delayed ; it cannot be prevented coming', and you and I 
shall live to see it. 

Franrh Flare to J. A. Roobvck. 

Scplonlwi- 10, 1837. — I read your address to the Reformers 
of Bath with <rreat interest, and I need hardly say that I con- 
curred in every sentiment it contained. You are now the only 
man having the wisdom to see who has the courage to speak the 
truth. ... I did not interf'ji- -n any of the elections, not even 
by advice to any one. I was iu hopes that all the Reformers who 
were members of the last Parliament would have been rejected by 
the people or beaten by the Tories, Leader alone excepted, and I 
wished him to succeed merely that the Westminster people might 
take their own aflfairs into their own hands again. The Re- 
formers, to a man — you alone excepted — in that House enabled 
the Whigs to beat the Tories, and I wished to see the two factions 
fairly pitted against each other, that the country might see the 
value of a body of Reformers — be taught the value of themselves ; 
and then, when at the next election there must be a Tory House 
of Commons, there would really be a popukir opposition, and the 
people might be benefited. But now these " Courtiers " * are all 
crawling to Lord Melbourne and the queen. . . . Look at Hume, 
even. . . . being betrayed, as he deserved to be, for meanly be- 
coming subservient to the man (Byng) who had done all he dared 
to do on previous occasions to prevent him being returned for 
the county, and then becoming a joint in O'Connell's tail. This 
conduct I will not forgive in any man. With Hume, however, I 
will not quarrel. He has done more than any man of his time for 
the people, and he will yet do more. I will therefore A'ork with 
him, or for him, in anything I may think worth the trouble 
it may occasion. I will never give him up unless he joins the 
Tories. . . . 

A pamphlet has been printed by the Ridgeways called 
*' Domestic Prospects of the Country under the New Parlia- 
ment." This pamphlet has given Brougham great offence, and 
he says you are the man to write an answer to it, and in this I 

* A name given to them by Lord Brougham. 



concur with him. I, however, objected to your doing it, on the 
jjround thut pamphlets seldom pay their expenses, and you ought 
Dot to be called upon to incur loss in the matter. . . . Tho 
MornuKj Chronicle says the pamphlet is domi-ofHcial. I think 
that Ilobhouso wrote it. . . . The pamphlet is cleverly worded, 
and will take with nine out of ten of those who think themselves 


It contains much that is true and good, but it 

very dexterously keeps everything out of sight which could in 
any way tell against niinisters, and puts everything In a strong 
light which can be made to answer the writer's purpose. 

J, A. Roebuck to Francin Place. 

Bechion, Christ Church, Scptnnher 18, 1837. — I have a great 
desire to answer the ministerial manifesto, but I do not wish to 
have the expense of publishing it. ... I intend this year to set 
to money-making by law, and shall hang out my sign for election 
business. Knowing, as I do, so many men of the House, and well 
understanding their ways, I think success in this line not out of 
my reach. As for competition, though great in quantity, tho 
quality is of the meanest. Take away Charles Austin, and there 
is not a man of a grain of common sense among those employed, 
to say nothing of talent, tact, and power of speaking to a very 
peculiar and prejudiced judicature. I have hitherto thought 
little of myself. Now, thanks to the new lights I have received, 
I shiall take care of my personal interests, and shall find, strange 
to say, that the people will think more of me than if I had looked 
after theirs. I found when last in Bath that if I had joined the 
Ministry, and sold the people, my seat would have been safe for 
life, the people themselves being foremost to honour their betrayer. 
This is natural among the uneducated. Take the masses sepa- 
rately and talk to them, what do you find ? Why, profound 
ignorance and, necessarily, inveterate prejudice. How, then, 
can the compound mass differ from the component ingredients ? 
There is no chemical fusion to make a hundred ignorant 
individuals one instructed body. I heard from Brougham and 
Hume some time since. Brougham's was a strange composition. 
Hume is strangely in the dark. 





Ft'diicis Place fo John Titnrrs. 

Xomnbvr 22, 1h:')7. — Tlio Iloformers in tlu; House of 
Commons arc not less dcservinj,' of consuro tliiin tlio Whig 
ministers whom they have served. There luive been aeveral 
occasions wlieu it was their duty to their country to have cut 
ministers and taken a stand upon their own merits. Had they 
done so, the people would have aeee^jtcd them, and they would 
have been eminently popular. I saw these opportunities, and 
took ndvautajje of them. I conversed with those members who 
were best known to me, laid the wholo case before them, and 
submitted to them that it was their duty to act in a paiticular 
way. They acknowled<,'ed it, promised, and, to a man, broke their 
promises. ^lore than one of them wrote to me, thanked me, and 
on the very mornin<;' a^ain promised to do that which in the 
evening they wanted courage to perform, yet had just as much 
courage as enabled them to do just the contrary, and then to bo 
ashamed of their own conduct. At length, and for want of a 
man of more weight, Roebuck came forward, and then again, to 
a man, they deserted him. Had they supported him as they 
ought to have done, he would have found his proper place among 
them, and the Radicals, as they would then have di'served to have 
been called, would have gained an importance at the last election 
which would have saved both themselves and the nation. They 
were not up to the mark. They had no accurate perception of 
the solemn duties of men chosen by the people. They threw 
away the chance of being eminently useful to their country, not 
wantonly, but cowardly, and became of no importance in the eyes 
of the people, xlnd now, mark well the consequences. They 
were treated like slaves by ministers, like dogs by the lords ; and 
now Lord John and his clique, too narrow-minded to foresee the 
result, has kicked them from his presence as they richly deserved 
to be. He has, however, by his great efl'ort to kick them, 
effectually slipped down himself, and dragged his clique along 
with himself into the mire. 

Francis Place to Mrs. Grotc. 

November 25, 1837. — I have read the speeches at White 
Conduit House. Roebuck's must have told well, but he should 
have refrained from saying anything about shopocracy. Wakley's 




was sliufHe — a mean shuffle throu,i,'liout. Dan's [O'Connell] was 
Blatlicr-era-skite roguery at the bottom. People see through liis 
treachery, and cut him, and then come to him again, and this, 
too, time after time. I know him thoroughly, and as thoroughly 
dislike him. 

From the following we get a glimpse of the society in 
which Mr. Roebuck at this time moved : — 

John Temple Lender to the Editor. 

Florence, Fehruanj 19, 180G. — Roebuck and Sir William 
Molesworth and Charles Pelham Villiers were, for many years, my 
colleagues in the House of Commons, of about the same political 
opinions, and my friends. In 18;>8, and for some years afterwards, 
I generally inhabited my villa on Putney Hill, where Edward 
John Trelawny (" the younger sou ") lived with me, and where I 
received my friends who came on Saturday afternoon and left 
on Monday morning. My more intimate friends came and went 
as they pleased. After an interval of more than half a century, 
I remember among them J. A. Roebuck, who was a frequent 
and welcome visitor ; and his brother-in-law, the Rev. Wilham 
Falconer, called by us " The Rector ; " and Thomas Falconer, 
who was afterwards a county court judge, called by us " The 
Lawyer ; " and Richard Monckton Milnes (afterwards Lord 
Houghton), called by us " The Poet ; " also Rintoul, of the 
/Spectator, and the iirst Lord Brougham, and Alfred Montgomery, 
and the second Duke of Wellington (though an ardent Tory), and 
Bickham Escott (also a Tory), and Charles Austin (the successful 
lawyer and admirable talker), and his brother, Alfred Austin (who 
was one of my electioneering agents) ; the Americans, Charles 
Sumner, and General Hamilton, of the South, and James Robert 
Black, of Kentucky, for some time my agent, and called by us 
" Kentucky ; " the Frenchman, Clement Thomas (who was shot 
by the insurgents in Paris), and Godefroy Cavaignac and Armand 
Marrast (afterwards President of the French Chamber in 18-t8). 
Some years before, Armand Carrell (who was afterwards killed 
in a duel by Girardin) came with me to England, and stayed with 
me for a few days at Putney Hill — which, ho said, made him 
underetand the descriptions in Scott's novels. There was also 
Prandi and other Italians. . . . My especial connection with 



Roebuck was on Canudlan affairs-then well known, now probably 
forgotten Wo had the honour to bo burnt in effigy by the' 
lories of Canada. I remember one evening, when driving into 
town trom the country, my carriage was stopped by a crowd all 
going one way. I asked what it meant, and had for answer, 
iliey are gomg to see Leader taken to the Tower." I thanked 
mymtormant,anddrovoon. It was a mere idle report. Roebuck 
was you know, very irritable, and did not mince his words wh^n 
speakmg of or to an opponent. This made liim many enemies. 
ne tiiought and spoke for liimself, and was very little amenable 
to party discipline. 

1 i'« 



; ; i| 










Although out of Parliament, public events still claimed 
Mr. Roebuck's attention. He was most especially con- 
cerned with the affairs of Lower Canada. The condition 
of that colony had become most serious. At the moment 
when the new Parliament was adjourning for the Christmas 
recess, came news of the rebellion — a disaster long foreseen 
and predicted, but to eyes that were blind and ears that 
were deaf, by the agent of the House of Assembly. 

Molesworth and the Radicals in the House, prior to 
the adjournment, criticized severely the policy which had 
driven the Canadians to despair of the redress of their 
grievances by constitutional agitation, and during the 
recess, notwithstanding the following caution from Leeds, 
there was much plain speaking by Leader, Roebuck, and 
others, at a great Westminster meeting, held at the Crown 
and Anchor. 

Edwd. Baincfi, jwir. (Leeds), fo Francis Place. 

Leeds Mercvry Office, January 2, 1838. — I wish the meeting at 
Westminster on Thursday may do good, but that it may do so it 
is exceedingly desirable tliat ]\Ir. Leader, Sir Wm. Molesworth, and 
the other speakers should be less violent and less bitter against 
the Government than they were during the late debate in the 
House of Commons ; for I assure you that their tone has con- 
siderably prejudiced the cause they so ably and so justly espouse, 
in the minds of very many people in the country, as well as in 



Mr. Place, in reply (Jan. 4, 1838), wholly dissents from 
this view, and writes — 

I, as yon know, have seen and conducted many public 
meetings, yet few that I have seen have equalled that of to-day in 
numbei-s, enthusiasm, and perseverance. Never before did I hear, 
and never did I expect to hear, such a speech as was made by my 
old friend Roebuck, and never did I see such effects produced by 
any speech. 

Francis Place to ^^ Fellow Citizen'''' Samuel Harrison. 

January 14, 1838. — Roebuck has done all that any man could 
do, and more than any other man Avould do, privately with 
ministers to prevent civil war, and showed how, even now, 
arrangements might be made which must be highly beneficial to 
both countries, and beyond this, he has offered to devote himself 
to the service ; but he has not been, and will not be, attended to. 

On the reassembling of Parliament in 1838, Lord John 
Russell brought into the Commons a Bill for the sus- 
pension of the existing constitution of Canada. Mr. Grote, 
while opposing the Bill, regretted that there was no one 
in the House so intimate with all the facts as to be able 
to reply to the statements of Lord John Russell — one who 
knew those facts, and who lately represented Bath, being 
no longer a member. 

That evening Mr. Grote presented a petition from Mr. 
Roebuck, praying to be heard at the Bar on behalf of 
the House of Assembly of Lower Canada. The request 
was granted. 

Through the columns of the WeeMy Chronicle, Roebuck 
(January 17) addressed " The People of England." Refer- 
ring to the debate which had taken place the previous night, 
he said — 

Some men were in that House who knew the facts of the case, 
and yet they were silent when Lord John Russell, putting the 
issue of the debate upon the justice or injustice of the English 
Government, assailed the House of Assembly of Lower Canada 



1 1' i 

: \ 




with all the vituperation which malice, unaided by intellect, could 
supply. Mr. Grote lamented the absence of Mr. Roebuck, but 
surely the presence of ^Ir. Roebuck was not needed to refute the 
calumnies so lavishly employed by Lord John Russell. Mr. Grote 
knows the whole case, is familiar with the minutest portions of it; 
had, with his accustomed industry, mastered every detail of this 
most perplexed and intricate (juarrel. Why, then, had he not his 
knowledge at command ? His indignation should have stirred 
up within him the latent energies of his character, and impelled 
him to have grappled closely with the many monstrous misstate- 
ments of the noble lord, and to have scattered to the four winds 
of heaven his shallow and miserable sophistries. 

Joseph Parlces to Francis Place. 

Westminnfer, January 18, 1838. — Roebuckhas a splendid oppor- 
tunity on Monday. He has the power, instruction, and taste to 
take advantage of it if ho chooses, and I trust he will. I have 
been deeply sorry for him, and the sort of proscription under 
which it has been vainly sought to crush him. But Monday will 
compensate him for being out of Parliament, and if his advocacy 
of the question is well done, will place him on a high pedestal. 
He has begun life at the wrong end, pecuniary independence 
being essential to an honed and successful public man ; but there, 
he is in this present station, and Monday may elevate him highly, 
both in his private and public interests. 

Francis Place to Joseph Parties. 

Jamiart/lS, 1838. — Roebuck is singularly impatient of advice, 
but still he takes it well from me, and I, as you seem to be, being 
somewhat apprehensive lest he might not do the best possible, sent 
him my opinion on several points, and some advice respecting 
demeanour and management, whicli I think will be of use to him. 

Roebuck accordingly appeared at the Bar of the 
Commons, and there described the long struggle of Canada 
for the right to administer her own internal concerns 
without interference from the Home Executive. It was 
in vain. The Bill passed, and was sent up to the Lords, 
where, on February 1, it was read a second time, in spite 
of Brougham's vehement opposition. 


FranciH Phtco lo J. A. Rophurlc. 

January 24, 1838. — I have heard road to mc your speech at ■ 
the Bar of the House of Injustice, before men nearly the whole of 
whom have no correct notion either of their own situation or that 
of the public — before men with pride, contempt, and hatred of 
all who rank below them, who never perhaps, in the whole course 
of their lives, felt one serious desire to do justice to the people. 
On these men your words were thrown away, but they will be 
recorded, and you will be honoured. Would they could have 
immediate effect ; but the power of close, deep, ronfimtous reason- 
ing is the lot of few, and those few have never yet directly 
jjoverned mankind. All day yesterday every one whom I saw said 
you had made a good speech, but some said you had fallen off 
towards the close of it ; and why ? Why, because you had not 
abused — for that, indeed, was what they meant — you had not 
abused ministers. The stand you took was unheeded by them, 
yet it was the only stand which a sound intellect could take. I, at 
least, honour you. 

I also heard much of your letter in the WeohJij Chronicle. 
Every one whom I saw condemned you for havijig sacrificed your 
friends, and thus put out of their consideration the other parts of 
your letter. I wish you had not particularized Grote, because he 
lias done more already in this session than you or I, knowing him 
as we do, ought to have expected from him, and because you call 
upon him to say why he did not do that which his peculiar notions 
did not permit him to do — what, indeed, you as well as I know it 
was utterly impossible for him to do. I wish you had omitted 
his name, and put the matter more generally. I always feel un- 
comfortable when those of our friends who do something or much 
are jmhlichj blamed, while those who do nothing are suffered to 
go without censure. Now, do not misunderstand me. I concur 
in everything you have said in your letter, and am pleased with 
the admirable manner in which it is said, and dissent only from 
your naming Grote. 

I lament as deeply as you do that the so-called Liberals in the 
House of Commons should be such men as they are — far below 
the times in which they live. I lament this the more because 
these are not times when men thus placed by the people should be 
nullities, since their being so will inevitably lead to great and 


5i, 'I 



long-continued evils. This, you know, is neitlier a new nor a 
hastily formed opinion, but the result of serious thinking. It is 
not now suddenly expressed as a momentary thought, but has been 
said and written time after time, more with pain and shame than 
with indignation, great as has been my indignation. 

J. A. Roehucic to Francis Placp. 

Monday, Jammry 29, 1838. — I am much obliged by your 
kind letter. The fact of your having written it shows me that 
you very correctly understand my position, and that you have 
divined my state of mind. The peculiarly painful consequence 
of all my conduct as a public man has been the conduct of my 
friends to me on every emergency when their countenance would 
have been useful to me. When all the rest of the world have 
discovered that I am right, they have courage to think so also ; 
but until the public has come round, they shrug their shoulders, 
turn up their eyes, and cry out, " Alas ! he is so imprudent." 

In the present case I am not a voluntary agent. ]\Iy duty to 
my Canadian clients bids mc brave everything rather than desert 
them. Now is not the time to turn round. If they are wrong 
now, they have been wrong all along. The present state of 
things is but the necessary consequence of battling for good 
government against a powerful and unjust nation. I saw long 
ago the necessary result, and when it was far oif, braved it. I 
am not going to turn tail now that it has arrived. I have acted 
with my eyes open, and knew perfectly well what was coming. 
Posterity will determine whether I am right, and to that tribunal 
I am willing to leave the decision. In the meantime, the pain 
and disgust which beset me are not trifling — pain when I think 
with what calumny the right is to be always obtained ; disgust 
when I see the pusillanimous leaders, who call themselves the 
friends of the people. I came to town this winter fully determined 
to take no active part which was not entailed on me by the past, 
in politics. Unluckily, this Canada business is a part of this 
heritage, and I am dragged most unwillingly into public life 
again. This cannot last, however, very long, and I then will follow 
out my former determination of leaving the field of politics 
entirely for the present. The people must go through another 
probation before men of very decided opinions can be of use. 
The sacrifice of quiet is not compensated by any good we can do. 


The year 1832 opened a great scene to the Radical party. They 
have proved themselves unequal to the occasion, and we must 
wait for another chance. I know not, and for myself care not, 
how long we may wait. 

The letter of which you speak, and the talk about Grote 
that I hear of, has served more than most things to disgust me. 
I chose to say that a great opportunity had been thrown away, 
that no sufficient grounds had been laid to justify those who arc 
supporting the Canadians, and with some praise I mentioned 
Grote's name, and wondered that he, knowing the whole case, had 
made so feeble a defence. In doing this I have been accused 
of base ingmtitiule, and language has been used towards me that 
would only have been justified by my having deserted Canada 
and my friends here, and sold myself to the Whigs, Mrs. Grote 
has utterly severed our friendship for ever. If what she said 
were true, I am not fit to be her friend ; if it be false, she is not 
fit to be mine. She is so surrounded by persons who flatter her 
to her face (while they abuse her beliind her back) that the truth 
Jiever reaches her. Abuse in political papers she rightly sets 
down as party abuse, and any other blame she never hears, though 
it is matter of daily occurrence around her. When I spoke out, 
she thought it criminal. This conduct on my part is very 
different in all respects from that of her pseudo-friends. It is 
plain and above-board — very unlike that ribald abuse which 
I have often rebuked ; but still, this is alone to be condemned. 
I wish her joy of her discrimination. Had I thought that there 
was any chance of a misinterpretation such as you mention, I 
certainly should have avoided mentioning Grote's name, but that 
there was injustice in my sentiment I cannot fsee. 

I could tell you some strange things, were I to see you, of the 
thorough-paced cowardice of my friends, but to write them would 
hardly be worth the trouble. 

Leave was also granted to Mr. Roebuck to be heard at 
the Bar of the House of Lords, and, on the 5th of February, 
he there recapitulated the Canadian grievances. 

Mrs. RoehucJc to her Father. 

February 5, 1838. — . . . i "3buck is in high spirits. He has 
written out his speech to the Lords — eighty-six pages. The 




\\ 'I 
I'- i 

speech to the Commons was not written out : all we have of it is 
the shorthand report by Mr. Gurney ; and whether he sent it to 
any newspaper, I do not know. Lord Brougham was written to 
this morning, to ask what time he — Roebuck — was to appear, 
and also to get me a seat. You must see his answer ; hero 
it is : — 

•' My dear R., — You come to our longing arms at a quarter to 
five, and at five or thereabout, you will begin by saying 'My 
Lords.' This is the only part of your speech I can anticipate. As 
for ladies, I have these two days lijid the most inexorable refusal 
from the only person that can admit them. Those refused were 

Febrvarif G. — Never theloss, I received a summons to go down 
hastily to the House of Lords, which summons I obeyed imme- 
diately, and found it was not so " impossible." Roebuck went 
down first, and on his arrival had arranged with Sir Augustus 
Clifford for my admission. A large chair was pushed before me 
just to the Bar of the House, where I was requested to sit, and by 
my side I found two ladies, one rather plain, the other reinark- 
ably handsome. The first was the (last) Duchess of Gordon, the 
other the Duchess of Sutherland. We were the three only ladies 
admitted on this night only. Roebuck had begun when I came 
in, and he gave the noble lord at the Colonial Office and Mr. 
Spring Rice a plain statement. I send you the speech — Thomas 
[her brother] says the best Roebuck ever made. I remarked, 
the Lords listened with great attention. The Duke of Wellington 
and Lord Lyndhurst came down to the Bar, and down below the 
table there were about a hundred and fifty peers, at least, and 
their attention was very great. A large number of the House of 
Commons attended. Lord Brougham sat twitching his nose in 
great style. The Chancellor [Cottenham] sat with Lord Glenelg, 
who was red and angry. After the speech was over, I was 
standing with a crowd of friends round me — in the way, I suppose — 
and did not see the Chancellor coming. He made a detour round 
me, to my friends' amusement— the Duke of Wellington, amused 
as the rest, sitting near. The Bill passed its second reading in 
a very short time — five minutes — without discussion. By the 
end of the week there will be no constitution in Canada, no 
Legislative Council, no Assembly, no Agent ; all will be powerless. 



This will not please ilio authors of the row. Instead of getting 
more, they lose the little they had. 

It was not until 1840 that the Canadian troubles were 
at last ended by uniting the two provinces, and conferring 
on them legislative independence. By 1843 the province 
had become quiet and peaceable. Many of those who had 
been concerned in the rebellion were now loyal subjects, 
taking honourable part in administrative affairs. But 
there were still, in penal servitude in Van Diemen's 
Land, several French Canadian peasants who had been 
transported during the troublous times. Mr. Roebuck 
brought their case under the notice of the Government 
and House of Commons, by a motion " That, as a matter 
of wisdom, justice, and policy, her Majesty might be 
humbly addressed to extend that mercy which was the 
brightest ornament of her prerogative, to these few poor 
men, and to restore them to their friends and families in 
their own country." To this Lord Stanley, then Secretary 
for the Colonies, made objections, chiefly technical, as also 
did Mr. Charles Buller. The motion was not pressed, its 
object being partially gained by the promise of Lord 
Stanley to pay attention to the circumstances of each case. 
The surviving prisoners were, huwo/er, not liberated for 
nearly two years after. The satisfaction expressed in the 
colony at their return to America, and their subsequent law- 
abiding conduct, fully justified the unceasing efforts that 
at last procured their release. This feeling partially found 
expression in the following lines : — 

D'autres viendront tantot saluer leurs chaumieres, 
Nous, graces aux bienfaits d'un enfant d'Albion, 
D'un homme protecteur de notre nation, 
Nous foulons aujourd'hui la terre d'esperance ; 
Beni sois-tu, Roebuck, pour tant de bienveillance! 

This, however, is anticipating subsequent events. Re- 
verting to the year 1838, Mr. Roebuck is found, in June, 
paying a visit to Glasgow, whence had come an invitation 



from the Liberals asking him to be their candidate at the 
next election. 

J. A. Roebuck to Mrs. Roohurk. 

Liverpool, June 17, 1838. — ... I arrived here safe at about 
ten last night. The journey had little that was pleasant, and to 
me, though the steam made us go fast, it was not agreeable. A 
villainous smell enveloped us the whole way, spoiled the country 
air, and overpowered the may that was all around us. At Denbigh 
Hall the whole posse of us had to leave the train and get into a 
variety of vehicles, coaches, and 'buses, etc. 

Gl(mjOH\ June 19, 1888. — I arrived here at two yesterday. I 
shall meet the people on Thursday, and leave behind a legacy to 
the Whigs, not in hard words, but in plans and principles. . . . 
Rain, rain, rain — notliing but rain. This is called the wettest 
place in Scotland, Greenock excepted, and sure enough it has done 
nothing but rain since I have been here. The journey from 
Liverpool was not painful, and some parts of the road were 
interesting. I should like to pass a few days in the Cheviots. 
Copley Fielding has been there, I am sure. The day was cloudy, 
the clouds drifting with gleaming lights. This brought out the 
round hills capitally, and some of the scenes were strikingly 
picturesque. The midland part of England surpasses any place I 
have yet seen in Great Britain for fertility. All around Dun- 
church was exquisitely beautiful. Hants cannot compare with 
Northampton and Warwickshire. For forty miles after you leave 
London all is cold clay, dry sand, and barren in appearance ; but 
the rich pastures of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire at once 
change the scene, and give you a magnificent idea of the beauty 
and richness of our land. The border country is finely cultivated, 
but the trees are small, and the soil looks barren and wet. 
Carlisle is a queer-looking place. I was there at four o'clock in 
the morning, and found all the people stirring, with flags, etc., to 
celebrate the opening of tbe railway to Newcastle. The moment 
we came to the Cheviots, a new climate, a new country, appeared. 

Glasgow, June 21, 18o8. — ... As I anticipated, we have 
certainly beat the Whigs with their own weapons. They are 
beginning to come in, and to talk of a desire to put aside all 
diiferences, and to unite for the purpose of carrying me. Friday 
Mr. Alex. Deuuistoun, whom I knew very well in the House of 



Commons, is to iutroduco me to all the leading Whigs licrc. Ho 
himsell is a stout Reformer, and, I find, a great admirer of my 
doings in Hoii'bk Ifuusc. He says people have very erroneous 
notions respeeting me, and he is exceedingly desirous of letting 
them see or hear me. 

Yesterday I was called upon by a person from Kilmarnock, 
with an invitation to visit their town. Dcnnistouu wishes me to 
go, saying that there is another chance there. But I am dubious. 
You must not flirt with too many places at once, but you love all. 

Amongst other things, I saw a cotton-mill — a sight that froze 
my blood. The place was full of women, young, all of them, some 
large with child, and obliged to stand twelve hours each day. 
Their hours arc from five in the morning to seven in the evening, 
two hours of that being for rest, so that they stand twelve clear 
hours. The heat was excessive in some of the rooms, the stink 
pestiferous, 'and in all an atmosphere of cotton flue. I nearly 
fainted. The young women were all pale, sallow, thin, yet 
generally fairly grown, all with bare feet — a strange sight to Eng- 
lish eyes. By-the-by, it rained all day nearly, and in every 
gutter you might see rows of children standing to wash their feet 
They looked like so many strings of young ducks. I saw no 
carriages, no well-dressed women in the streets, but all seem here 
of the working-class, all dirty, though the town itself, spite of the 
smoke, is clean. I cannot discover that infernal aristocratic spirit 
that prevails so fiercely at Bath, for example. A man here has just 
told me that few people in this place can " count a grandfather." 
All are newly raised, and by their own exertions ; in fact, the only 
distinction seems to be the degree of wealth. Bad enough this 
distinction ; but I do not see that mortal terror lest you should 
come in contact with some one not of your own caste, which 
besets English people. The same feeling may exist, but as yet I 
cannot find it. I suspect that trade shakes them all together, and 
creates a system of hail-fellow-well-met — ridiculous airs of supe- 
riority are not openly put on. Mind, I speak from a very small 
experience, and rather express my wonder at not finding the feeling 
than a belief that it does not exist. 

I am somewhat sanguine now. The Whig party find it 
impossible to get me an opponent Liberal enough to have a chance, 
and hating their Tory foes here heartily, they only want an excuse 
for coming over to me. The real difficulty, I suspect, will be to 






perfiiiatle the Ministry to make au oiieniny-. It is circulated hero 
that Lord ^Iclboiirno expreast'd a nun'tul terror when he heard of 
my standinj;. This was sent down in a confidential letter, which, 
like all confidential communications, was immediately spread 
abroad. I did hear the name of the writer, but have foru;ottcn it. 
There may bo a spice of truth in this. Tliat the Ministry wish to 
keep mc out of the House I know. They must be sure that they 
cannot do so for any time, and that opposition will only exasperate 
me. I have just seen a carriajre pass the window — a poor shaky 
affair. I underatand that there are hardly half a dozen equipa<;e8 
in a population of 300,000, the second city in the Empire ! The 
sun shines this raorninjr, but the clouds still look suspicious. I do 
not by any means seem likely to lose my dislike of the bleak north. 
There must be somethinj; innate, and a love of the tropics in my 
inward feelings. My health has been capital ; not one bad nij^ht 
have I had. I cat and sleep, no pain, and am ,<;ettin,!? strou:^. So 
far this escapade has done well. Ask Alexander [Falconer] if he 
ever felt a warm day in Scotland. I have a fire at nij^ht. 

Glasgow, June 24, 1838. — I hope to leave Glasg'ow for York 
on Wednesday next, but of this I am not sure — the people pullinj? 
at me in all ways, and cntreatini,' me to remain. I have this 
moment received a requisition from Kilmarnock with I know not 
how many hundred names entreatinj^ me to go there. I cannot, 
and yet I fear offence will be taken ; but runniufi: about to have 
gapinfj: crowds look at me is not to my taste. Yesterday I was 
from ten in the morninj^ till past three walkinj?, talkin*,', seeinji; all 
the 8ij,'hts, and all the persons that needed to be seen. At three I 
left Glasgow with Mr. Reddie (Reddle's father) for his country 
house down the Clyde. The scene from his house is magnificent. 
The scene, however, is horribly spoiled by one continual cloud of 
black smoke vomited forth by steamers passing up and down. 
Dumbarton was in sight, seated on a solitary hill, the river wind- 
ing at its base, and the steep sides of the valley closing in the 
picture thus. [Ht i-e followed a sketch.] This with a fine atmo- 
sphere would have buc v beautiful. I was tired by my day's work, 
and came home, ntsd now I am in the quiet produced by some 
dozens of preaciieis thumping away in the various kirks and 
chapels of this smoky town. Surely I was not made for a leader 
of the people. I cannot hail people in the market-place and make 
myself at home among all classes. I hate the idea of canvassing 



ft miin's {rood wislics. If tlioy desire to lie well <,'ovenied, let 
tliom, but I iiin not '/oinf? to cuwl to tliem in order to persuude 
thcin to their own ^'ood. It is impossible to divest men of tlie 
notion tliiit it is the ciindidiite's inte est tliiit is iniiiidy tliouj^ht 
of. They will learn otherwise if they know me 11 little lonj,'cr. ^ 

liy-the-by, I hud ulniost fori,'otten to tell yon that we had u 
fjrcftt meetinij: on Friday, and the whole ulVair went olT mnch to 
the disgust of the stitV Whi^'s. My (ixphination of lladical 
opinions 1ms thrown a damp npon all who were constantly railinj; 
on the wildness of our views and seheines. Every hour proves 
to mo how wise was the determination not to come here with the 

, those wild fellows. My whole dlHiculty has been to undo 

what they did, and to show that the thinking' Radicals were a 
Very dilfcren* ra(!e from those blatant, ignorant brutes. 

The Wlii.u;s at the meetinj]^ on Friday were compelled to own 
that no such difference existed between my views and tiieirs, as 
rendered it impossible for them to support me ; and T sec that 
the Tories are as vexed as their old rivals, because it seems but 
too probable that the Liberal party will be kept to,u;cther, spite 
of all tlireateninsf appearances. All parties of the Liberal section 
confess that my visit has done great good, inasmuch as it has led 
to a great softening down of asperity among the discordant 
materials which compose the laberal party. I shall see the 
working people to-morrow, and preach in a chiurh to them. 

Rain threatens again. What a country ! I was right about 
going north. Every step this way was the wrong way. To the 
south is my cry ; and would thfit the Fates would place me 
within a few degrees of the Line. But I suppose I sliall live and 
die in this bleak place of England — die, too, perhaps in consequence 
of having swallowed too much mist upon some day which the 
inhabitants called very fine weather. 

I saw yesterday a cotton-mill in whici' a thousand people >w 
were daily employed, the greater part women under twenty. The 
rooms were lofty and not painfully warm. Barring the monotony 
of the labour, there seemed no great hardship here ; but fancy 
one's life passed in a whirr of wheels which prevents the possibility 
of any hearing, looking at a white wall, tying broken threads, 
and inhaling cotton fluff and oil stink. Think of this, and then 
remember that in three weeks all these people might be enjoying 
the sweet air, the warm climate, and the beautiful scenes of the 





New World, froe from tlie teiTors of starving, and then say if 
we be not the slaves of habit, and not the servants of our reason. 
The quiet habitant on the banks of the Mississippi, laughing, 
dancing away his life, is in my mind a fur happier, and a far 
wiser man than the poor cotton-spinner who spends twelve hours 
out of the twenty-four in a monotonous labour to get the bare 
means of existence — aye, and happier, too, than the cotton-spinner's 
master, whose life is a fear, raised by anxiety and a love of gain. 
But I will not bore you with my sermon longer ; you will say 
that I am in a melancholy humour. 

York, July 4, 1838. — . . . The country round York is not 
pretty, or rather, it is pretty, and pidty only. It is flat, rich in 
its agriculture and foliage, no hills, not much water, only the little 
river Ouse, the atmosphere from the rain too grey to be agreeable. 
In the autumn the dark green will have disappeared, and then 
perhaps pretty "bits" might easily be found. The lanes are 
green, and leading I know not where — all mystery, and so far 
delightful as walks and drives ; but my eye is still American, 
and looks for space and aerial tints. 

The scene on the Borders approaching Carlisle, as I saw it, is 
the finest I have seen on this side the Atlantic. It was grand 
in its extent and colour, and striking, too, by its historical 
associations. It was strange to hear the guard of the coach (a 
character, by-the-by) say, " There, do you see that pointed 
mountain in the distance ? That is England ; it is Skiddaw." 
There is still upon the border a feeling anti-English — the remains 
of olden time when feuds and fighting were common. Some of 
the commonplace of life is forgotten at times amid new scenes 
connected with times past, as those of Scotland are. I was 
standing on Glasgow Green, and the person with whom I was 
walking, said, " That hill away to the south-east is Langside Hill, 
on which Mary stood, to behold her army defeated by the Regent 
Murray." The observation came upon me suddenly. I was 
looking at, and thinking of, the many tall smoky chimneys of 
the manufactories round me — of the present world and its woes, 
the acute, but still commonplace, wretchedness of the poor cotton- 
spinner, her few shillings a week, and twelve hours' daily labour. 
The speech of my informant struck a chord that was still, and 
not in unison with those already touched. The effect startled me. 
The wretched Mary losing a kingdom, destined to be a prisoner 






in a foreign lajid, and at length a victim to a jealous rival's hate, 
was strangely brought into juxtaposition with the toil-worn, 
pallid, lowly girl of the cotton-factory, whose forefathers might 
possibly have battled on that field, lii.le thinking that the result 
of all the strife and turmoil in after times would be that his 
children's children would linger away their lives in the dull and 
dreadful monotony of a prison called a factory. Again and 
again did I ask myself the question, Have we gained anything 
by our mighty discoveries ? and are we at this moment happier 
than were our forefathers in the wretched times of the battle of 
Langside Hill ? I fear not. Poor Mary's sufferings, being the 
sufferings of one in a high place, win sympathy and observation, 
but the misery of the toiling millions crammed together by the 
spirit of commerce is unseen. However, I must not punish you 
by inflicting this tirade upon you at any greater length. Had 
you seen the chimneys of the Glasgow cotton lords flouting the sky, 
you would probably have felt as I did. But let us travel back to 
York, and to our life's commonpla.ies. . . . Legal advance is slow 
work to one unconnected with attorneys. I feel assured, however, 
that time will bring success, and that, if once fairly launched, 
the ship will not fail to roach her harbour. A competency is all 
I desire ; so soon as that is gained, adieu to law, adieu to London, 
coal-smoke, and yellow fog, and all my London life will be a 
Parliamentary one. We shall see if this hope is to be realized. 

I received Papineau's * letter yesterday, and the history of 
Lord Durham's doings. From this last I augur good. He has 
taken my advice about the Council, and dismissed them all. This 
looks well. The calling for the affidavits against the prisonera is 
also a good sign ; he will learn the frivolous pretences on which 
many have been thrown into jail, and many driven into exile. 

Papineau speaks of coming to Europe. I hope no act of Lord 
Durh<>^'s will drive him here ; but still I desire much that he 
Fhon'a Lc seen and understood. . . . That letter to Howe in 
Nova Scotia gave me more trouble than anything which occurred 
during the whole Canadian affair. I wish people would not 
trouble themselves with my ccncems. 

Do not believe a word sa^i aijainst me and my doings at 

* Papineau wns a Canadian of French extraction, the leader of the 
Colonial party in Lower Canada. He desired to sever the connection of 
the colony with the mother-country (Walpole, vol. iv. 118 and 131). 






A y 


Glasgow by the Glasgow press. The press is all Whig or Tory, 
and I, as usual, gave them a Jilh'p. They are up in arms, all of 
them, but tlie great body of the people have been mueh undeceived 
and surprised by my conduct and language. They expected fire 
and fury, but were agreeably disappointed. 

Do you know any books that give a good account of Yorkshire ? 
The forest of Sherwood was up in these parts. I wish to know 
how far it stretched here away. Do you know York ? It seems 
a dull, stupid, parson-ridden place. 

Jul// 8, 1838. — I have to-day written a long letter to Brougham, 
who is evidently all astray as to Lord Durham and Canada, misled 
by a desire to find Durham in the wrong, and by a passion for 
talking upon all matters, whether he underetands them or not. 
I have told him the truth, and do not suppose that he will be 
annoyed. He has no wish to quarrel with me, and will, I dare 
say, shape his course to meet my views.* 

I was to-day (junior) in York, and went to the Minster. 
That was so full that I could not get into the choir. It was all 
song and painted glass, with old broken-down fell ia rhiqieaiix 
a trois conies — breeches and gaiters — who yesterday flayed the part 
of javelin men to the judges. What a droll procession I Talk 
of the lord mayor, and his nonsense, that is downright common 
sense to the affair of yesterday. The trumpeters, the javelin men, 
the mounted tenants of the sheriff, the followers of the mayor — 
a playhouse show surpasses it ; and this is the way justice is 
administered in the most civilized of nations. 

The following letter, though of later date, completes 
the story of the Glasgow candidature : — 



J. A. Roehurk to Mr. A. Pifrdie, OInsf/oir. 

London, June 11, 18:3!). — Some time since, having ascertained 
that a vacancy would soon occur in the representation of Glasgo «', , 
I informed the Ministry, through the appropriate channel, that i 
should contest the honour of being one of your representatives. 
I received without any circumlocution or hesitation a direct inti- 
mation that my return would be opposed by the Government. 

* Brougham, nevertheless, in the House of Lords attacked Durham with 
Buch eflfect that he immediately threw up his office, and came home wit!>out 
waiting for recall. 





This did not deter me ; it mtUcr confirmed me in my deter- 

My success appeared very nearly assured, in spite of the 
opposition of the "Whiu: party. It was, in fact, almost" impossible 
to find any one to oppose me who could hope to succeed. The 
Tory might be let in, but to return the Whic^ seemed impossible, 
and as I was first in the field, the blame of dividing the Liberal 
interest rested with the Liberals who opposed me. 

From this difficulty the Whig Liberals were rescued by an 
accident. There is one who has a claim prior to any that I could 
put forward — one whose chiim I could not oppose — I mean Mr. 
James Oswald, who some time since, with great honour to himself 
and satisfaction to his fellow citizens, represented the City of 
Glasgow. On my being informed that Mr. Oswald intended to 
present himself, I at once felt that duty required of me imme- 
diately to withdraw. . . . 

Allow me, however, to add one word at parting. It is quite 
clear that the business of your representative will be a very 
different one from that which it has hitherto been. A reconstruc- 
tion of political parties is about to take place. A Liberal 
Government cannot now be said to exist ; in fact, we have no 
Government at all ; but that party which is nominally said to 
govern can lay no further claim to Liberality. The fuudHif of 
Lord John Russell is tlie Toryism of Sir Robert Peel with a new- 
fangled name, and to support him and his colleagues is to support 
Toryism in reality, whatever the name may be. A thoroughly 
Liberal representative will therefore now be obliged to hold himself 
aloof, and to keep clear of all Ministerial pledges and connections. 
Hitherto the Liberal majority have acted as blind partizans of the 
Ministry. The country sanctioned this unwise proceeding, and 
has at length gathered the fruit from the tree of its own plant- 
ing. Lord Melbourne and Lord John Russell have declared in 
favour of finality — and finality, be it remembered by the good 
people of Glasgow, means continuance of all abuses ; and amongst 
the other things it means perpetual cor a laws, it means extrava- 
gant expenditure, war establishments during peace, and further, 
it signifies all that ill-blood and uncharitableness which is the off- 
spring of an exclusive and dominant Church establishment. Some 
of us who call ourselves Liberals may be well pleased in the con- 
templation of finality — when we anticipate only a restriction of 





the suffrage — but there are few who now lay claim to the name of 
Reformers wlio will much admire the doctrine of finality, when 
viewed under this other aspect. It is to be hoped that the Liberals 
of Glasgow will make up their minds upon the course which their 
representative is to pursue. The chief object of their endeavours 
should be to heal the differences now existing between the middle 
and the working classes, and to unite them into one band of sturdy 
Reformers, with common interests, feelings, and sympathies. 
This is indeed a difficult task, surrounded as we are by sinister 
interests of every possible description ; whose artful advocates see 
that their chief hope of a continuation of power and profit lies in 
creating and maintaining ill-blood between these two sections of 
the community. He would be a great benefactor to his country 
who could devise some means of thwarting and defeating the 
machinations of these chief enemies of the people. 












Mr. Roebuck, as appears from the following letter, was 
invited to draw up the people's " Charter." 

Francis Place fo Erskinc Perry. 
October 4, 1838.— Tlie Charter, as the proposed Bill is some- 
what absurdly called, originated thus : The committee of the 
Workuig Men's Association . . . determined to proceed step by 
step towards the objects they now had in view, and to abandon -ill 
old projects (as to division of property, holding in common, and so 
forth-matters which could have no immediate reference to 
themse ves), and they came to the determination to associate with 
themselves every otie who would go along with them, and, as a test, 
to draw a Bill for carrying tlieir project into effect. . . . At length 
application was made to Mr. Roebuck, who promised to draw the 
BUI ; but extreme ill-health and Parliamentary duties prevented 
hun. Apphcatiou was then made to me, and I undertook the 
task upon condition that the points, and as much of the detail as 
the Association could easily put together, should be prepared so 
Uiat in drawing tiie Bill I might be well aware of their notions 
Ihis was done ; and I drew the skeleton of a Bill under appropriate 
heads and sent it to Mr. Lovett and Mr. Roebuck to complete as 
he had again said he would ; but his sad state of liealth did iot 
permit him to keep his promise, and I therefore made the Charter ' 
Lovett assisting me as he could.* The Working Men's Associa- 
tion approved of it, and it was printed. 

* Holyoakc (" Sixty Years of au Agitator's Life "), says William Lovctfs 
was the hand which drew up the Charter, and that Roebuck revisTit 





Mr. Holyoake has recorded, on the authority of Mr. 
James Watson, who was often imprisoned for publishing 
prohibited books and newspapers, that, going on one 
occasion to Roebuck's chambers to consult him on matters 
connected with the struggle for a free press, Roebuck was 
found lying on a rug before the fire, writhing under the 
pain of neuralgia, from which, in those days, he . suffered 
much. He listened as he lay, then rose, gave shrewd 
counsel, and forthwith put into writing the steps he 
advised, or sent letters to others likely to help. 

The Charter was received by the Associations every- 
where as an admirable epitome of their just political 
demands. They became " Charterists," or Chartists, and 
every idea gave way before the Charter. Soon they 
possessed a press. The Northern Star, conducted by their 
celebrated leader, Feargus O'Connor, and the Western 
'^Vindicatory which Henry Vincent published at Monmouth 
and in Bath, commanded in common with the rest of the 
" unstamped " such a circulation as no papers had ever 
^efcvo uoasted. 

The first public meeting of the Working Men's 
Association in Bath demonstrated how fit a soil existed 
there for the propagation of any democratic ideas. Henry 
Vincent was present, instinct with the fiery eloquence 
which distinguished him. Roebuck had been invited, but 
professional duties detaining him in London, he forwarded 
to the secretary an outspoken letter of advice and 
admonition. He wrote — 

The working-men do wisely iu tlius associating together. 
They have hitherto been excluded from all participation of 
municipal rights, because disunion has rendered them Aveak and 
induced their enemies to contemn their demands. I would say to 
you, Be united, be firm, learn distinctly what rights you ought to 
have, and steadily and earnestly demand them. While you do 
this, however, I would entreat you not to mix up social with 
political reforms. Social reforms can come only as the consequence 




N ''M 


of political ones ; and on tlic one set the great body of the 
people are agreed, on the other they are at variance. A good 
government, if attained, would conduce to all good social reforms, 
and it is not for us to decide beforehand what these last should be. 
I give you this warning, because I have been so long in the 
habit of advising the people of Bath ; and also because I know 
that the weakness and disunion of the working classes have arisen 
mainly from their unwisely confounding these two essentially 
different classes of reforms. 

Mrs. Groh' to Fmncis Place. 

October 27, 1838. — Joseph Hume appeare, for once, sensible of 
our wretched degradation as a political paiiy. Roebuck, too, 
allows that all is, for the present, gloom and darkness. But I for 
one will never consent to uag a hand or foot to awaken the great 
public up from its lethargy till these base Whigs are sent a- 
packing. . . . Roebuck is the only sound Radical ''qualified to head 
a vigorous movement, and I hope I shall see him there ere I die. 

Early in 1839 Air. Roebuck was in Bath, when a service 
of plate was presented to him by the electors. Accompany- 
ing this was an address full of strong regret and sorrow 
for his non-return at the election of 1837. The terms of 
the address, though they seem a little exaggerated now, 
reflected feelings of disappointment which none but those 
who had taken part in the early enthusiasm of 1832 and 
1833, and had witnessed the struggle, could fully understand. 

J. A. Rofihnck to Mrs. Rochurlc. 

Yorlc, March 5, 1840. — Last night I had a small body of the 
leading Liberals of Leeds, and gave them a specimen, playing 
pacificator-general. They have elected me one of their committee 
to draw up — in fact, to make— such resolutions for them, as will 
serve as an exposition of proper Radical doctrine. They plainly 
said (being very moderate Rads, mind), " We want a new charter 
without the name, which will unite the now conflicting opinions of 
the Liberal party." I fancy they must have been a little surprised 
at the sort of harangue I gave them — very unlike the ravings of 
Messrs. O'Connor and Co. 







Things have gone on very well so far as regards law. To- 
day I feel better in body. My sleep has been much disturbed 
by pain ; even yet the twinges resist the liydryodate. I hope 
the fine weather makes our darling flourish. Every hour that 
I am away from you seems a heavy one. 

York, March 10, 1840. — . . . While in Leeds I was shown 
a new manufacture which may work a revolution in the woollen 
trade in this country. It was cloth made without spinning or 
weaving — merely from felting. . . . The earliest clothing made 
from wool alone, was made by matting the fleece together in 
one homogeneous mass. I was shown the process. In forty- 
eight hours after the wool is taken from the sheep's back it 
is perfect cloth, and at half the price. I wanted some, but 
the patentee said he could not now part with it, as there were 
strong contending interests against him, and he wished to begin 
upon a scale to meet them. He is evidently frightened at the 
greatness of the discovery. 

York, Mforh 11, 1840. — I spent Sunday with R . Early 

in the morning he sent a pony for me, and it being a beautiful, 
clear, frosty day, I rode out by nine o'clock. As the day advanced 
it was quite wai-m and spring-like. The birds sang, the air was 
soft and sweet, so we determined on a tramp. Setting rheumatism 
at defiance, away we strode a good six miles, loitering along turfy 
lanes, till we came to the river Onse at Poppleton. We then 
sauntered back, indulging ourselves with all the beautiful things, 
sweet sounds, soft airs above and around us. I never had a more 
delightful walk, feeling very little fatigued. The pains in my leg 
utterly vanished, and I felt myself ten years younger. From this 
place I shall go to Sheffield sessions, from thence to Liverpool, 
from thence sessions again at Pontefract. 

York, March 18, 1840. — I still improve; last night wholly 
without pain. Nothing annoys me but my loneliness. It is 
impossible for me to express my distaste for the society ai'ound 
me. Sarcastic, bitter, shallow, money-hunting, selfish, — such are 
lawyers. They see so much of the evil part of mankind that they 
learn to believe in nothing good. They fret me by their eternal 
sneering at everything noble or exalted, and make me turn cynic 
in my own defence par consequence. I find some of my bitter say- 
ings in vogue against themselves. They cannot understand that 
this arises from a very different feeling from that Avhich moves 


themselves, so I ever let them believe that I am like them. God 
help me if I were. 

Mdrtli 29. — So the ministers have again been beaten, and that, 
too, upon a serious point.* The very general feeling among the 
Tories is that a dissolution is to happen. Their wish is father to 
the thought. O'Coiinell doubtless will be in a fury, and threaten 
to put Ireland in a flame. He is the sole cause of the Tories' 
exclusion from place, therefore do they hate him with a deadly 

Liverpool^ April 2, 1840. — ... I stay over the Saturday in 
order to see some of the leading Liberals. It will be well to do 
so, as I find there is still a strong belief that I have a tail and 
horns. One old fellow came to me with a sheet of paper in his 
hand, and begged of me thereon to write something, as a lady 
of his acquaintance was very desirous of having my autograph. 
Rather a strong instance of the lion-hunting mania, seeing that 
I was just introduced to the applicant. However, I did tiie 
thing, as John Kemble said, " handsomely," so he may begin to 
fancy that the tail and horns may not be wholly true. 

Poiilcfract, April 8, 18-10. — ... It appears as if the old 
experience, viz. "It always snows at Pomfret sessions," were 
to be continued ; bets, I understand, have been laid upon the 
chance this year. From the appearance of the sky, and fall of 
the wind, snow does not seem unlikely. 

Sir James Graham's motion f will be decided before I reach 
liondon, and this is the last real attack upon the Ministry this 
session. The desire to thump the Chinaman will bring many 
persons to the side of the Ministry. I do not believe in a 
dissolution. I find my lawyer brethren do not like the notion 
of my being in Parliament. This appears by advice, etc., as to 
tlie effect it will have upon my professional chances. Of this 
I am as well able to judge as they. To the dull plodder the 
game appears a strange and difficult one. Let me keep this 
rheumatism off, and I fear nothing. 

The following relates to an article which shortly after 


* Lord Stanley's Irieli Registration Bill, carried against ministers by 250 
to 234 votes. 

t Condemning the Government policy towards China. Defeated by a 
majority of only nine. 

■.,' : 



appeared in the Edinburgh Review on Napier's Peninsular 

November 7, 1840. — I have read Harding's letter, and it 
completely confirms Napier's narrative. I have found a passage 
in Voltaire, which I moan to quote on the sensitiveness ot Napier's 
various objectors. 

"J'ai honte," says Voltaire, speaking of his "History of 
Charles XII.," " surtout d'avoir parle de tant de combats, de tant 
de maux fait aux hommes ; je n'en refers d'autant plus, que 
quelques officiers ont dit. ne parlant de ces combats, que je n'avais 
pas dit vrai, attendu que je ii'nvaia pas pnrle de leiirs regiments ; 
ils supposaient que je devois suivre leur histoire." 

Six volumes form a large subject, and I find it difficult to 
select or to omit. Much must be omitted that is interesting ; and 
my object has been to create a curiosity about the work, giving 
it alone the praise so fully its due. I yesterday received a letter 
from Macvey Napier, begging for the article to be sent. I hope 
to learn next week what Macvey thinks of the same. Tlie 
Edinbnrijh twists round so often, that I am fearful lest I should 
mistake its present position. 

/. A. Boplnir/r lo William Tail, Edinburfjli. 

November 28, 1S40. — Have you still any hankering for our 
so-called Liberal Ministry ? or do you think, with me, the sooner 
we put them into Opposition the better ? If they remain much 
longer where they are we shall have a Whig war, carried on by 
united Tories and Whigs. What do they say in the North to 
all this ? Does the intrusion question make you all careless even 
of a general break-up of the peace of Europe ? Of this quarrel 
of yours we in the South know little and care less ; but I fear 
it will very fatally influence all elections for some time to come. 
Is Edinburgh the passive pocket borough of the Government as 
much as ever ? and will a vacancy, if created by Sir John 
Campbell's advance to the Irish Bench, be filled without op- 
position by the Tories or Radicals ? Opposition by the latter 
would indeed appear impossible, but the Conservative party, 
growing every day more formidable, will soon attack the Whigs 
in their strongholds. Reformers are becoming faint, and unless 
some powerful and sustained effort be made by the really steady 




and yet untried friends of improvement, a lon^ Tory reign is 
inevitable. It is this belief that makes me write to yon. I am 
anxious to unite au;ain the elements of our scattered party ; 
to persuade all again strenuously to put their hands to the 
work, and labour as if nothing had yet been done. In the North 
of England a movement is beginning which, if properly aided, 
may lead to good results. In order to give this aid, all the 
means in our power of expressing opinion should be used, and 
that, too, firmly and earnestly. Now, if you think I can assist in 
this good work by anything I could write for you, I should be 
glad to do it. My health is much improved. I have leisure 
enough for this purpose, and if I could employ it to so good an 
end, I should be well pleased to do so. I sometimes communicate 
with an admirer of your magazine — the editor of the Lceih Times, 
who is doing good in the North. He gives me encouragement by 
describing the spirit of the people as not dead, but sleeping ; 
while he excites me and all Reformers to action, so that we may 
sound a trump to awaken these dormant energies. I find so 
much despondency that any instance of hope is pleasing — and 
in this case the more so as I scarcely believe he is right — and 
nothing is wanting but a hearty concuiTcnce on the part of all 
well-intentioned men, in order to raise up again a strong desire 
to advance. Does your experience of the North make you think 
us right ? A budget of news would be acceptable ; for we can 
only judge of the aggregate by comparing separate opinions, and 
collating separate pieces of evidence. 

To Wm. Tait, EiUiihurgh. 

December 2, 1840. — Have you for your January number an 
article on the war doings of the Ministry ? If not, I should like 
to give my poor thoughts upon the question. My purpose would 
be to expose Lord Palmerston, not by any supposed special know- 
ledge or gossip, but by showing in what way his interests are 
forwarded by putting the nation into hot water ; and how the 
Tories, by a natural instinct, are ready in a moment to support 
him. The true view as respects Fra ' in this matter, I have 
not yet seen. My belief is that Lord Palmerston has throughout 
been acting in concert with Louis Philippe. The struggle com- 
menced in France between the king and M. Thiers, being, in fact, 
a struggle for the premiership. Thiers forced himself into power 





iijjainst tho king's wish. Tliu kiiirj and ho were consequently 
deadly enemies, and Thiers well knew that, on tho iirst opportunity, 
the kinj,' would dismiss him. In order to prevent this, ho 
endeavoured to gain popularity, AVith his old Republican friends 
ho had no ties or correspondence, but ho hoped to win these back 
and gain many others by pandering to tho French appetite for 
military glory. The war party in Franco is a strong, active, and 
ijitelligent party — men who hope to gain more liberal institutions 
by means of a general "row" in Europe; and 'lis party 

Thiers addressed himself. The king saw tho da ,,-., and has 
done all in his power to excite the terrors of tho shopkeepers. 
Lord Palmerston has aided him, but tho thing is about to bo 
carried too far. Tho response of the war party to Thiers was far 
more decided and vehement than he had expected. Tho spirit that 
was roused has not been laid. Tho present rulers of France, 
Soult, & Co., are aware of this, and are secretly but strenuously 
preparing for war. Palmerston, by his successes in Syria, has crossed 
the king. Any moment threatens us with an outbreak of tho 
French war spirit ; and an attack on Alexandria, which I see that 
Palmerston intends, will blow tho embers into a flame. If this 
man bo permitted to remain in this ^linistry, or be enabled to join 
the next, we shall have war to a certainty, the rcsuH, of which 
will be very much like that which followed tho attar' n France 
in 1793, and woo be unto the aristocracy of this < y. The 

people are not now in tho state in which they wore then. Dis- 
content and knowledge are far more widely diffused now than at 
that period. A French war will lead to a propafjamlc. Italy will 
rise. Spain will be a republic ; so will Portugal. Poland will be 
on the alert. Many of the German states will be up against their 
rulers. Ireland will not be quiet, and England will be fearfully 
moved. Do you not think a picture after this fashion may do 
good, and frighten away the utter apathy of the people on this 
subject ? All are quiet because all fancy war not possible. But 
it is not only possible, but imminent. By showing that it is so we 
may excite attention, and perhaps ward off the evil. 

To William Tail, Edinhimjh. 

December 12, 1840. — I have determined to write, and have 
commenced my task, " A History of the Ten Years of a "Whig 
Administration " — a fruitful theme, and one which I hope to turn 







t<> profit for the public nnd myself. T sliall, accordinf:^ to ray 
prcHciit views, mako it extend to tiiroo octavo volumes ; hnt li;u« 
not yet decided whether I shall publish it volume by voliiiue, or 
all at on(;e. Contemporary history is always valuable, and as I 
have seen thinj,'s rather near, and as I know many of the chief 
actors in the scenes that have been exhibited, I «/////</ to have that 
to say which should be interesting. If what I know, and ran 
learn, be only tolerably well said, the book will live as a testimony ; 
and if I tell the truth I think some of our Whig people will be 
handsomely damned to posterity. 

Franrh Place lo J. A. Roflnir/:. 

Derrnihrr 23, 1H40. — T am sorry to find by your letter that you 
are very ill. . . . You are rij?ht. There can be no such move- 
ment in London as there is in Jiceds. It will, however, come to 
nothins?, even there, because it is not in kecpin<? with other 
circumstances. ... I concur with you again : " The time for 
brawling and mere talking men at public meetings is over for the 
present." The Chartists have done this. Buy the Chartist 
Almanack, price 3(/. It contains the constitution of the new 
Chartist Association. T' is as pretty a recommendation of trans- 
]iortable offences as either the Whig or Conservative Tories could 
desire should be made. 

I wish you would send me a brief account of what passed when 
Lovett brought you ray draft for the Charter. All I can learn is 
that you said it was sufficient for the purpose intended. 

In respect to your history and my assistance, I do not sec how 
I can comply with your wish ; were I to do so I should be worse 
off than one of the two tailors who had but one needle between 
them, because the books — a whole cart-load — could not be readily 
passed from hand to hand as the needle. 

J. A. Roehwh lo Wm. Tail, Edlnhiiffjh. 

January 25, 1841. — Our move at Leeds was so important 
that I think you might find a short account of it not uninterest- 
ing. If you think as I do, I will send you a short history of 
what we fancy we have accomplished. It was the first step 
towards a new movement — that first step being a very successful 
attempt to unite the middle and working classes, and laying down 
a principle to which both parties will adhere. 







The Ministry begin to fear that their end is near, and wish 
for pressure from without. This is a very significant symptom. 

To William Tail, Edinburgh. 

Fehnutry 9, 1841. — My article will be on the state of parties — 
at present a very curious theme. The last Tory triumphs have cut 
down the small majority of the Whigs to something worse than 
nothing, and now it remains to be seen whether the Whigs intend 
to go out, looking to come in at some future time on the popular 
side. If they do not, they are gone as a party ; if they do, they 
must lay the ground now by proposing some measures of reform 
that will please the people. Their Irish Registration Bill is of 
this description. Some half-dozen proposals like that for England 
and Scotland also, and they may look forward to an early return 
to power. But I fear their leaders are too much of the aristo- 
cratic faction for this. 

Do you know anything of Perth ? Sir G. Sinclair has been 
speaking to me thereanent, wishing me to make inquiries as to my 
cliances there. For mine own part, I wish very much to represent 
a Scots constituency. Once in for a place on proper principles, 
and the representative is sure of his seat so long as he remains 
true. This is not the case with us. 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

York, March 18, 1841. — . . . The sitting all day in court 
robs me of power to do anything after the day's work is over, and 
I usually creep to bed, though not to sleep, as soon as I well can. 
Yesterday my case came off, or rather on, and lasted from two to 
eight, ending with the men charged with murder being found 
guilty of manslaughter, and sentenced to two months' imprison- 
ment. The attorney, as usual, very profuse of thanks and 
expressions of gratitude, so I suppose I shall never see him again. 

The Chartists from Birmingham have been sending to me for 
legal advice ! This is rather too much ; they abuse me, and want 
to use me. But I shall ride rusty. Let i;hem seek aid and 
counsel from those whom they praise and pay. 

I ohall be in Sheffield late Saturday. York, however, is more 
pleasant than the smoke of ten thousand furnaces, so I shall stay 
here till I am obliged to be at Sheffield. Since I have been here. 

"^, \-- 


•I !ll« 


diu'ing the long hours of the night, I have amused myself with 
reading, among other rubbish, " Cecil " — the work of which Lady 
Blessiugton spoke to me. Having got to the last volume, I see 
why she was interested in the book. The writer is evidently one 
of that scribbling set to which she belongs, and goes out of his way 
to abuse her, and sneers at her reminiscences of Byron. He also 
all-.Jes to D'Orsay as a broken-down foreigner. You sec, these 
people who write about others are wonderfully thin-skinned. She 
evidently smarted under this, and could not hold her tongue. 
Spite of great quotations it is not impossible that it (viz. the 
authorship) will turn out to belong to a woman at last.* The 
thing has been altogether over-praised. 

Mai-ch 21. — A curious thing occurred the other day in Court. 
A Canadian, an inhabitant of Lower Canada, of English parents, 
was tried for coining in this country Mexican dollars. He said 
the dollare were medals intended to be attached to a chain, and to 
be worn round the neck, and to be given to the Indians, labourers 
of a fur company, of which he was an agent. This fur company 
traded on the west of the Rocky Mountains, and went as far 
north as the Columbia River ; and the question arose, " Where is 
the Columbia River ? " Nobody knew. The judge, Rolfe, W., 
the prosecuting counsel, B., the defending counsel, the attorneys, 
the jury, — all were equally ignorant. W. leaned across the table 
and said, " Roebuck, does not the Columbia fall into the Gulf of 
Mexico ? " I answered, " No, into the Pacific Ocean, and forms 
part of the boundary between the United States and British 
America." f • • • Yet I have no doubt every one of these persons 
had formed some opinion, to which he would strongly adhere, 
respecting the justice of our claims to the American territory. . . • 
After all, though I am glad of the man's acquittal, I am far from 
sure of the intentions with which these dollars were made. The 
whole affair was very suspicious. 

Liverpool, March 28, 1841. — ... I have at length a quiet 
hour to write in. Coming on this pilgrimage of law, I steadily 
go through its duties, and sit during the day in the hot, stifling 
atmosphere of an abominable and crowded court. The journey 
here from Sheffield was one of the most interesting I ever per- 
formed in this country. W3 started for Manchester at half-past 

* " Cecil " was written by Mrs. Gore. 

t Settled Boon afterwards by the Ashburton Treaty. 


f ^1 

!■: j i 1 




: I ji 







ten, on the top of the coach ; a beautiful day, clear and warm. 
The hills and moors which lie between Sheffield and Glossop are 
by far the finest I have seen, beating even Blackstone Edge ; 
and I hope some fine summer to spend a few days with pencil 
in hand among the striking scenes which lie there. The moors 
are preserved by a society of sportsmen, who rent the tract 
from the Duke of Norfolk. Through these moors runs the 
Derwent, which is also preserved by a set of sportsmen, brothers 
of the angle. This little stream adds much to the beanty of the 
scenery, and as we passed I saw many a spot where a painter 
might linger for hours. Glossop is a new tcwn, and bids fair in 
time to begrime the beautiful country around it for miles with its 
infernal chimneys and smoke. Suddenly we came to an immense 
cutting in the hill — a piece of work like those of the railroads ; it 
went clean through tlie hill (not a tu .). I beheld a sight I 
shall not quickly forget. Ashton, Stookport, and half a dozen 
munufacturing towns were in sight, if sight it could be called. 
On every side tall chimneys were thrusting themselves into thr 
sky, puffing out huge volumes of black smoke, and for miles the 
same horrible view met you — smoke, smoke, smoke ; trees, roads, 
the very ground, horses, beasts, and men were black and miserable 
to behold. Every step towards Manchester intensified all these 
horrore. The suddenness of the transition doubtless added to the 
sensation of oppression and misery. 

Pomfret, April 9, 1841. — ... I have done very well here. 
Every day increases my sessions business. I have had, next to 
Lewin, the greatest number of defences. I passed Sunday at 
Frystone.* There go the bells — ring, ring, almost as bad as 
Abbeville of rowdow memory. We had fine fun with Carlyle, who 
talked broad Scotch, and utter nonsense without end. His 
nostrums respecting law reform did not go unscathed. His pre- 
sumption, his dictatorial and positive manner, combined with his 
utter weakness, excited in my mind contempt. Yet this is a 
great star in these times of darkness. 

I shall be in liondon on Thursday early ; no poor devil ever 
longed for home as I do. My pains have come upon me, and I 
am fighting them with creosote and potass. 

* The seat of Mr. Monckton Mi1iic8, afterwards Lord Houghtoa. 


( 137 ) 




n ' 

At the General Election of June, 1841, brought about by 
Lord John Russell's appeal to the country when defeated 
on the sugar duties and a fixed duty on com, Mr. Roebuck 
regained his seat for Bath. Past misfortunes had taught 
the two wings of the Liberal party there the necessity for 
co-operation, and although the alliance between the Whigs 
and the Radicals, to accomplish which strong influence 
from head-quarters had to be invoked, was by no means 
firm, or really liked by either section, yet it served its 
immediate end. The choice of the Whigs was the son of 
the Earl of Camperdown, Lord Duncan, who, although 
sitting for Southampton, had wooed the constituency for 
several years. W^ith him Mr. Roebuck fought. Their 
opponents were the old members. Lord Powerscourt and 
Mr. Bruges. 

Riot attended the nomination proceedings from their 
beginning to their close. The occupants of the hustings 
were assailed unmercifully by missiles of all descriptions. 
But in the end Toryism suffered the most crushing defeat 
that ever it underwent in Bath, for the result of the polling 
was — Lord Duncan, 1223; J. A. Roebuck, 1151; Bruges* 
030 ; Lord Powerscourt, 920. 

Soon afterwards Mr. Roebuck went north on circuit. 
The succeeding letter records a visit to his aunt, Mrs. 
Stewart, the last surviving member of the numerous family 


i i, 




of his grandfather, Dr. John Roebuck, the founder of iron- 
smelting in Scotland. 

/. A. Roehuck to Mrs. Roebuck. 

Birmhifiham, Julij, 1841. — I have just returned from Mrs. 
Stewart. She is not well, though her intellect is as strong as ever. 
She is weaker than when you saw her, but at eighty-six what is to 
be expected ? She told me she had written to you her thoughts 
on various matters, and was anxious to hear from you again.* 

In the Times of Saturday, July a, there is a long article on 
myself — a clever attempt to sot the leading Whigs against me. 
The article is in tiie shnpc of a comment on my speech delivered 
lit the declaration [of the poll at Bath], which speech, together with 
Sir R. Peel's at Tamworth, the Times declares to be incomparably 
the most important of any delivered during the election. They 
cunningly put Peel and myself forward as the two leaders— Peel 
of the Conservatives, myself of the Movement party. This is done 
to exasperate Lord John [Russell] ; to wound the vanity of the 
Whigs, and thus to drive them away from me. Without this 
fillip they would have been but prone to hate me ; now, that 
hatred is inevitable — whether it will be openly shown remains to 
be seen. As yet I feel no doubtings as to my being able to 
take the position which I ought to take. If my health do but 
keep as good as it is, I have no fear of the result. 

J. A. Roebuck to Thomas North, Bath. 

London, February lo, 1812. — Lord Duncan was so good as to 
give me the petition from Bath against the Corn Laws, and in 
favour of a full representation of the people. I presented tlie 
petition yesterday, and stated its prayer to the House. The 
principles which it advocates will receive a very full discussion, 
and they will, I have little doubt, be virtually received as just 
principles by the legislature of this country. We must not, 
however, relax in our efforts. Our opponents are many, powerful, 
unscrupulous, and active. With honesty, boldness, and industry, 
we shall be able, nevertheless, I trust, to conquer them ; but if we 
fail in any one of these qualities, our present rulera will continue 

* This lady was the posbubsor of a guitar made for her when a girl by 
James Watt. 




to govern us. 1 feel gratified by the approval which my conduct 
respecting the presentation of petitions has received from all 
those of my constituents who have expressed an opinion to me on 
the matter. A more important point as respects the proceedings 
of the House of Commons was never discussed by it.* All the 
advances made in favour of civil and religious freedom have been 
won by means of the continued discussions upon petitions presented 
to the House of Commons. The effective battery once directed 
by that means against abuses is now ahnost destroyed ; but we 
must endeavour by strenuous and persevering efforts to reconstruct 
this formidable instrument of offence and protection. 

This session of 1842 is remarkable for Sir Robert Peel's 
great budget, and for the masterly manner in which, by 
imposing a sevenpenny income-tax and sweeping away the 
protective duties on 1200 articles of import, he repaired the 
ravages in the national finances made by long years of 
deficits. The fierce and protracted debates on these pro- 
posals, involving the corn laws, the sugar and timber 
<luties, colonial differentiation, and innumerable controversial 
topics, monopolized the attention both of Parliament and of 
the country. Mr. Roebuck, while giving a general support 
to Peel's policy, began an endeavour, which he kept up for 
many years, to relieve professional m.en from one-half the 
burden of the income-tax ; and he fought to equalize the 
iluties on foreign and colonial timber and sugar. 

Livrrpool, March 27, 1842. — . . . ily speech f was here 
before me, and I receive congratulations from ]x;o]3le because lam 
" really a Tory ! " So much are men guided by mere form aud 
party predilections. Because I praise Peel I am a Tory. I praise 
him because he has really produced a democratic tneamre. The 

* Members were formerly permitted, on presenting petitions, to address 
the House upon them — a privile<j;e still possessod by the Lords. It will havo 
been observed that Mr. Roebuck frequently availed himself of these oppor- 
tunities. In 1842, however, standing ord(;rs wtro passed restricting members 
to a statement of the parties from whom a pt-tition came, of the number of 
dignatures attached to it, of its material allog!ltion^<, uud to tlie reading of its 

t Debate on the Income Tax. 






».i '•""■>■ V "'•111 "'.' 



' h 



"Whigs are, as you may suppose, not backward in aiding the mis- 
constru(!tiou. Brougham has written to me again about the 
pensions, lie wants me to attack them, I see. 

It was not, however, the Whigs only who disliked Mr. 
Roebuck's support of Peel's sevenpenny income tax. The 
Bath Liberal Association sent formal protests, and many 
warm adherents of the Liberal cause were so disturbed hy 
his action on this and other matters, and by his absence 
when his colleague. Lord Duncan, was fighting against the 
window tax, that he found it necessary to go down to Bath, 
where he addressed a crowded meeting at the Guildhall in 
justification of his conduct. To complaints of absence from 
the House of Commons, he pleaded professional duties. He 
ended thus — 

If any one thinks I have done wrong, lot hhn tell me why 
he thinks so. ... I entreat you to exercise the same forbearance 
towards me as I do towards you and others. Believe me, I wish 
to set a good example to my constituents, and I have brought 
them together thus to consult with them. But if to-day there 
should be a difference between us, recollect, I am not come to 
surrender my right as your representative. You have chosen 
me for a term, and I shall not give up till that term is expired. 
When that time comes it will be for you to express your appro- 
bation or disapprobation by your vote. Till that time you will 
judge of me by my acts. I shall be always open to, and ready to 
bear with remonstrance, but let me exhort you not to be hasty in 
investigating what I am doing ; but chasten the investigation 
with a calm unbiassed and deliberate judgment, and by so 
doing you will give me an incentive to the active discharge of 
my duty, and generously reward me in doing it. 

/. A. Roohvrlc to Mrs. Roplmck. 

YorJr, March ?>, 1H42. — Not one day since I have been in 
Yorkshire have the twenty-four hours passed without a regular 
downpour of rain. ... It is so very quiet and determined, it 
puts me in mind of a pertinacious woman of the demure kind, 
who, appearing wonderfully subdued and soft in her manner, 





18, nevertheless, always in the rij^ht, and always decided upon 
having her own way. The waters are be^'iuniiii; to be out. No 
wheat sown. When I say no wheat, I mean only a small breadth 
sown. If this continues a week or two lonj^er. Peel's Corn Law 
will break down the first year. 

Labouchere * and Grey have been tradinj; on my capital. I 
explained to them, at their <lesire, my view of Gladstone's measure 
for taxing the colonies,t and tuoy have fired off my constitutional 
cannon. This shows how they depend upon others for their 

Old Chandler, who is the fiercest Tory here, was very civil ; he 
spoke of you, saying he had often heard of, though he had never 
seen, you. He asked me to his house. Wortley, when he heard 
of it, held up his hands and eyes. " Old Chandler ? Why, he 
is the most out-and-out Tory in the county ! " I myself joked 
Chandler, reminding him of his black looks at mc when I first 
joined the sessions. He laughed and said, " Aye ; we did not 
know you then — those newspapers lie so." This was the parson 
who told his congregation that if they would play cricket on 
Sunday, he would bowl to them. 

York, March 9, 1842 ; 9 P.M. — . . . We are now in the very 
throng of the horrible business of trying murders and other 
dreadful atrocities. My cases will be late. Two are murders. 
I am for the defence in both, and shall save one WTetch, I think, 
altogether, and prove the other offender guilty, not of murder, 
but of manslaughter ; so there will be no condemning to death. 

At night I have read novels, and, among others, I have again 
read, after many years, " Corinnc " — a beautiful book, spite of 
everything ; like nothing in nature, perhaps — that is, like nothing 
we see, but bearing a strong resemblance to much that we feel 
and think. It agrees with a theory of mine so far. My notion 
is, that every human being is twin — made up of two sets of 
feelings and thoughts — the esoteric, and the exoteric man. The 
.last is what we see ; and the description to the many of what 
is called natural, must be of that outward man. But " Corinue " 
is a picture of our dreams, of our inward musings — the esoteric 
existence, which few can discover to their best-loved, best-known 
friends. As a set-off to " Corinne," I read " Evelina," and 
<lid not like it. Old Johnson's applause shows what an old brute 

* Afterwards Lord Taunton. t The Canada Com Bill. 



J: Si- \\ 



'■:h' . 

i ::• 











- !( 


he was. Those parts which are really oflfensivc, and like nothinc^ 
that ever existed in this earth by way of manners, are those 
which his coarse appetite delighted in. If the conversations really 
represent the manners of speech common among men and women 
of those days, we are altered much, and that, too, for the better ; 
but I never can believe that the picture is accurate. " Cecilia " I 
have tried to read, but failed. Strange reading, you will say, 
for a lawyer on circuit. 

April 6, 1842. — This India news is very terrible * — nothing 
like it since the day on which a detachment of English troops 
surrendered themselves prisoners to Montcalm, in Canada, when 
the French Indians destroyed men, women, and children. 

AfHl 8. — So the foolish papers, for the want of something 
better to do, have been trying to take me in hand again. The 
Whigs are plainly trying to turn the feeling of some of my friends 
at Bath to their own service, hoping, evidently, to frighten me 
into silence. This they will not do, however. 

From the papers I learn that there is a vacancy at Montrose, 
so I suppose Hume will soon be back in " Honorable House." 
I hope so, for his sake, as I really believe him to be exceedingly 
unhappy by his exclusion. I am delighted with the journal. 

's exploits and little words are far more pleasing to me than 

the story of much greater doings. I drive off to the last the 
thing that is nearest my heart, for I dare hardly trust myself 
to think or speak of it. Have you no letters from America 
for me ? 

The next mail from Canada brought the news of his 
mother's death. 

The approaches of the Houses of Parliament were, on 
the 2nd of May, 1842, filled with crowds, attracted by- 
announcements that the Chartists of the metropolis in- 
tended to carry their " monster national petition " in 
procession to Westminster. The demonstration began in 
Lincoln's Inn Fields, and, as it traversed the principal 
streets, was witnessed by large masses of citizens. The 
petition, bearing 3,315,752 signatures, demanded the passing 

* The retreat of the British army from Cabul after the treacherous 
murder of Sir W. Macnaghten, on December 23, 1841. 






of "The People's Charter." The excitement attending 
these proceedings penetrated even into the pi*ecincts of 
the House as the great roll made its way to the doors ; 
for it was so large that the truck upon which it was 
carried by sixteen bearers broke down on the way to the 
lobby, and a perfect avalanche of paper closed up the door 
for some minutes, barring all ingress to the House. The 
petition was subsequently carried up in separate packages 
and placed on the floor in front of the table. Mr. Thomas 
Duncombe moved that the petitioners should be heard by 
their counsel or agents at the Bar. On the uebate that 
followed, Mr. Roebuck spoke for the motion. But its sup- 
porters were weighted by the disfavour aroused by the 
extreme propositions of the document, from the extravagant 
conditions of which they were compelled to dissociate 
themselves. Mr. Roebuck denounced these and their 
author, supposed to be Mr. Feargus O'Connor, in no 
measured terms. The petition had, he said, been drawn 
up by " a cowardly and malignant demagogue." His speech 
was described at the time as unquestionably the speech of 
the night, because of its masterly eloquence, the logical 
precision of its language, the breadth and clearness of its 
views, and the high moral courage which it displayed. 
But by insisting that the Charter, rather than the hearing 
of the petitioners, was the real issue, he helped the 
opponents, among whom were included Sir Robert Peel, 
Lord John Russell, and Mr. Macaulay, whose strongest 
weapons were supplied by the language of the petition 
itself. Only 49 members could be found to support the 
motion, against 286 drawn from both sides of the House, 
and including many of the most staunch Liberals. 

Mr. Roebuck's most sensational achievement in this 
session, however, related to the corrupt agencies which had 
notoriously been at work in the constituencies during the 
General Election of the previous year. These were more 
rampant than at any time since the Reform Act. Numerous 



;' ( 

,1 .V 












petitions alleging bribery and corruption were presented, 
only, however, to be withdrawn, under singularly suspicious 

It was openly said that progress was stayed on the 
undertaking of the sitting members, given personally or 
through their agents, to vacate their seats within a given 
time. Mr. Roebuck, ever alive to what might affect the 
honour of the House of Commons, at once resolved to test 
these allegations. The course taken was, as he described 
it himself, an extraordinary one, and it caused a great 
commotion in the House. On May the 6th he separately 
challenged in .heir places six or seven members, and called 
upon them categorically to say, then and there, whether 
the arrangements alleged to have been made in their names 
had their cognizance and approval. Several angrily 
declined to recognize the right to put them in the con- 
fessional, and refused to answer. Captain Plumridge, 
however, a blunt sailor, at once acknowledged that such 
an arrangement had been made by his lawyer without his 
knowledge, and he declared he did not like it. Captain 
Fitzroy, another of the challenged ones, said he would vote 
for a committee. Lord Palmerston objected to the inquiry 
altogether, on the ground that unless it was contemplated 
to bring in a Bill on the subject, it was useless to investi- 
gate. This begged the question, for if there was no 
evidence, there could be no Bill. 

The excitement caused by these proceedings, both in 
Parliament and in the country, was immense. Mr. Roebuck 
was, for the time, the best-abused man in the kingdom. 
Mr. John Walter, as defeated candidate at Nottingham, was 
involved in the accusations, and this especially aroused 
the furious animosity of his journal, the Times, which 
accused Mr. Roebuck of having pursued its proprietor 
spitefully, from 1835 to September, 1841, when, unsuccess- 
fully moving to condemn the Times for breach of privilege, 
he openly advised any one attacked in that journal to horse- 




whip its owner.* Sir John Cam Hobhoiisc had wrested 
from Mr. Walter the NottinLjham seat ; and in this, aj^jain, 
on the strength of Mr. Roebuck's earlier electoral tight 
against his brother, Mr. H. W. Hobhouse, was found evidence 
of personal enmity. Mr. Roebuck had, however, the con- 
solation, amid storms of imputation and hi qiioques, of 
receiving from all i)arts of the country expressions of 
gratitude from the advocates of electoral purity; and 
when, before his committee, the charges were fully proved, 
there arose such a universal outer:,- against the shameless 
corruption disclosed, as largely to silence the other side. 
The committee reported the existence of corruption 
at Nottingham, Reading, Harwich, and five other towns, 
justifying a suspension of the writs for new elections, 
and it recommended further inquiry with a view to the 
punishment of guilty persons. But the matter ended with 
the exposure, for Parliament 
committee's report. Wlu^n 
stormy debate terminated in 
resolutions founded by Mr. 
asked the House, firstly, to condemn the corrupt prac- 
tices now laid bare ; secondly, to declare these practices 
to be a breach of privilege ; thirdly, to suspend the writs 
for the constituencies concerned. A caricature of " H. B." 
at this time represents a confessional, with the member for 
Bath sitting in it, listening horror-struck to the avowals 
of the member for Nottingham (Hobhouse) who kneels 

Mr. Roebuck took an active part with his colleague, 
Lord Duncan, in a great Anti-Corn-Law demonstration 
held at the Guildhall, Bath, on January 27, 1843, Mr. 
Cobden and Colonel Thompson being both present. The 
Chartists had now adopted the policy of opposing every 

* Mr. Walter had, indeed, to be called to the Bar of the House before ho 
would give evidence, as he had refused to attend before a committee of which 
the advocate of horse-whipping was the chairman. 

declined to act upon the 

that was brought up, a 

the rejection of the three 

Roebuck upon it. These 

t .. 

< 'il 

-i' ;;l 






/J/V-: OF yoj/\ ARTHUR ROEnuck: 

agitation whicli could withdraw public attention from tlio 
necessity for electoral reform, and this action greatly 
detracted from the unanimity of the meeting. Though 
supporting the Anti-Corn-Law Leaguers on this occasion, 
^[r. Roebuck was largely out of sympathy with many of 
their methods, and a few months afterwards he attacked 
them in the House of Commons. 

A fragment of Parliamentary journal, written by Mr. 
RooHuck, rjiatcs to this period — 

Thiirsddi/, Fidn-uiiitj '2, ISI;). — Parliiuucnt opened by Coin- 
mission. The chief topics — foreign ulTairs, Cliinu, Afghuu, and 
America, sorrow for deficit, etc. 

The agitation by the Anti-Corn-Law fiCague iiad led people 
not conversant with the i/i/onwl affairs of Parliament to believe 
that there would be a grand display in the debate of this evening 
by the gentlemen connected with the League ; but Mr. Cobden, 
the corypheus of the party, was absent (his child, an infant of ten 
months, having died on January 2:»), and Charles Villiers seemed 
not altogether willing (or able ?) to supply his place. When 1 
expressed to C. V. my opinion that Cobden had made a mistake 
in staying away, his answer clearly proved that he (C. V.) did not 
look with complacency upon the manner in which Cobden had 
superseded him in the lead of the Corn question. " After his 
sails have been so filled with favouring winds (said C. V.) he 
(Cobden) ought surely to have come into port. The honours 
showered on him by the Scotch lately were not given without 
a purpose. He was expected to be here, and his friends out-of- 
doors will be grievously disappointed." The truth is that tliore 
is a great difference between talking to large public meetings 
composed of favourable auditors, who cheer every word you utter 
and speaking to the fastidious audience found in the House of 
Commons, the greater part of whom are bitter opponents 
and all critical listeners. Cobden's success out-of-doors will 
excite attention for him in the House ; but he will !>' n'f|uirod 
to reach a high standard to acquire the inflnenn Mtliin tiir wall:^ 
of Parliament whicli lie has attained am*^- enemies of the 

Corn Laws. 

The debate was dull and peculiarly interesting ; the only 






iiicitlent worth remurkinijf wfts the elTcctivo iiiiawcr j^iveii by Tiord 
Stanley to Loril J. KiLsaell. Lord John's ciirimii;' received u 
Buitiible rebull". 

Sir U. Peel '^wwa notice of n motion of thiinks to FiOrd 
Ellenboron<,'h ajid the Indian army, and I that I wonid move 
for a committee to itiqnire into the justice and policy of the 
Afghan war — l)oth motions for February 1(1. I gave notice also 
respecting the [(Quebec] Heauharnois Canal. 

During the debate, fiOrd Palmerston declared that he would 
attack the Treaty with America on some future day. He showed 
himaelf extremely willing to bo mischievous, but not very able. 
His speech was an imjmdent piece of spite. " Ife showed blimt 
teeth," said Lord B. [Brougham] to mo next morning. The 
figure was apt. No amendment moved. 

Fridaii, Fphniarij 3. — On bringing up the report of the address, 
old Walter (the Timoft) made a set speech, in which he declared 
in favour of a fixed duty on corn — a poor display, much pre- 
tension, but poor performance. Villiers is to bring on the Corn 
question some early day, and Lord Howick is to move for a com- 
mittee of the whole House on distress on Monday week. I gave 
notice of a motion for pardon to the Canadian convicts now in 
Van Diemen's Land for Tuesday next. I this morning break- 
fasted with B. [Brougham], and talked over and settled plans as 
to my Afghan motion. 

Mondaij, Fehruanj G. — Almost a ^//V-.s mn, the only matter 
of interest being the statement of Sir \\. P. that ho intended 
to confine his vote of thanks entirely to the military operations, 
the policy of withdrawing the troops, and of the war originally, 
being ti question completely reserved. It will, I think, never- 
theless, be difficult to confine the debate to the mere military 
operations. If Peel blames the preceding operations, the whole 
question will be dragged into discussion. This I shall be sorry 
for, as I want the war itself to be thoroughly canvassed, which 
can only be properly done on such a motion as mine. 

Sir R. P. recommended us to wait till we saw his papers, and 
the terms of his motion. 

Mr. Roebuck's speech on the first Afghan War, its causes 
and its consequences, was long remembered by those who 
heard it, as the best that he had made in Parliament It 

! M 



I j 


V'f ' 







sketched in a short and clear manner the events which led 
to the interference of England in the troubled affairs of 
Afghanistan, and condemned the mode of that interference 
as most unjust and impolitic. 

Lord Browjhnm lo J. A. Rorhuflc. 

Homo of Lords, Fridaij. — Dear 11., The impression has been 
very jxreat. I hear but one exception, viz. the strensth of some 
expressions as to Aackland supposed to have weakened effect. 
Yours ever, II. Brougham. 

In the hot controversies aroused by Sir James Graham's 
Factory and Educational Bill of 1843, Mr. Roebuck 
anxiously advocated the imposition of obstacles to employ- 
ing children of tender years. He unsuccessfully asked 
Parliament to affirm that in no place of education, main- 
tained or enforced by the State, should any attempt be 
made to inculcate peculiar religious opinions. But his 
refusal to join in general condemnation of Sir James 
Graham's Bill brought him into strong conflict with an 
influential section of his constituency. Attending a meet- 
ing at Bath, called to oppose what were held to be the 
objectionable clauses in this Bill, Mr. Roebuck had 
to fight against some clamour raised by men who re- 
sented quotationi:' from the report of the Commission on 
Education, illustrating the dire ignorance on matters both 
religious and secular, j)revailing in the manufacturing 
districts. But more formidable was the elaborate and 
powerful challenge offered to his views by the Rev. Dr. 
Waddy, who became one of Mr. Roebuck's strongest 
opponents in Bath, and afterwards in Sheffield. Mr. Roe- 
buck, while admitting that Graham's Bill was bad, and 
full of objectionable clauses, vehemently declined to incur 
the terrible responsibility of rejecting anything ofliering 
the least amelioration of the horrible condition of the 
children of the country. He advocated, therefore, the 
policy of endeavouring to make a bad Bill good by 



amending it clause by clause ; and ho propounded his old 
views in favour of entirely separating education from 
religious teaching. Dr. Waddy, on the other hand, 
lengthily analyzed the Bill, to show that it was irretrieval>ly 
bad ; and he elaborately criticized ^Iv. Roebuck's views on 
education. The controversy was carried far into the night, 
and its echoes went rolling on until they had an appreciable 
effect in severing Mr. Roebuck's connection with Bath. 

Speaking, in Parliament, on the Irish Arms (Coercion) 
Bill, Mr. Roebuck said — 

The chief evil in that country was the rampant Church of 
Ireland. ... If he had the power, he would disiiucumbcr that 
Church iit once of auythini,' like maintenance of power in Ireland. 
He would propose at once to take the revenues of the Church, and 
give them, if to any Church at all, to the Church of the majority 
. . . but he should prefer to apply them to temporal purposes. 
The Irish Church was the great mischief, grievance, and sore of 
that country. ... If they wished to remove all ground for the 
cry of repeal, he entreated them to govern Ireland as they 
governed England. 

The appeal was useless. There were : for the second 
reading, 270 ; against, 165. 

The following letter touches on this ever-recurring Irish 
question : — 

J. A. Roebuck to Mrs. Roebuck. 

York, July 10, 18-43. — As to O'Connell's plans, I cannot 
believe him to be so unwise as to convene any body of delegates 
in Dublin. The ruin of his party would certainly follow ; they, 
not having any real power, would quarrel amongst themselves. 
They would not only commit themselves, but U'Counell also, a'ul 
the Government would ix)unce upon him, and make him at length 
pay for all the annoyance he has given them. If he be quite 
quiet, he »•, ill succeed ; if he steps ever so much beyond the law 
us to give the (Jovernmeut a fair o-j;)ortunity, they will test his 
courage by bringing him to trial. If Peel had an ounce of 



'•« .;■' 







courage, be must, by watcliin'j: his o]>portuiiity. Risks must be 
run, and, were I in bis place, 1 would run that risk, if O'C^onncll 
jrave me a chance. The Church must j?o, or rents will ; and then 
what will Irish landlords do 'i 

The Government did " pounce." When Parliament met, 
in 1844, public attention was largely centred on the trial, 
then proceeding in Dublin, of Daniel O'Connell and his 
fellow Repealers.* The chronic discontents of Ireland were 
acuter than ever, and the subject was prominently referred 
to in the Queen's Speech. Early in the session, Lord John 
Russell moved for a committee of the whole House to 
inquire into the condition of Ireland. Mr. Roebuck's chief 
panacea was disestablishment of the Irish Church. He 
asked — 

Would repeal of the Union relieve the present evils, bring 
peace, and remove discontent ? 

As far as he could judjre, it would only ajjirravatc the mis- 
chief, lie could not conceive any one mischief greater to Ireland 
than repeal, excepting the continuation of a military <Jovernment. 
. . . Peace could never be produced while the Irisli Church 
remained as it was. ... lie was for ])ulling down the present 
system, for taking the j)ro(!eeds into the hands of the Government, 
and applying them to the great purpose of educating the people. 
Why should a Church in Ireland be maintained, doing all that a 
Church ought not to do, causing animosity and discord through- 
out the laud ? Why should it not be put down, in order that 
])eace might be at once restored ? He would tell them. They 
feared that the principle, if applied to Ireland, would be hereafter 
applied to England. 

* Mr. Roobiifk went to Sir Thomnfl WiMo's (afterwards Lord f'hancellnr 
'I'niro) to look over, with BIr. Slitil, papcra connected with tiie trial in Dublin. 
While 80 engaged, Lord Brougham was announced. Ho oame, ho said, to 
ask tho Attorney-Generol's opinion regarding the safety of Count D'Orsay's 
dining with hitii on that day, and requested him (Sir Tiiomas Wilde) to send 
him nn ojjinion before six o'clock on these points : Whether Count D'Orsay 
could dine in safety with him, an ex-Chancellor, the two Ciiief .Tusticcs 
(Denman ami Tindall), and tho ex-Attornoy-General. Sui)po8ing a detainer 
pot in, would it be valid on a Sunday ? 







'/'« 11'///. Tally Ediidniiijh, 

March 1, 1S41. — I should iiiuch like to put upon paper a, 
description of the i,'rejit Irish dehute. AVould y(ju like such u 
sketch ? As it would bo u series of jiersoual critieisins as well as 
general reflections on the state of Ireland, I should not like to be 
openly known as the author, though you need not fear any 
libellous matter at my hands. And, indeed, it is not that 1 should 
wish to write anything really disparaging of any that took part in 
tiie debate that makes nie desire to be inroi/ni/o. But the taking 
niton one's self opeidy the character of a critic on such an occasion, 
and in my position, would be presuming. 

The debate itself was a very remarkable one, by far the best I 
ever heard. Throughout it was good, and the cliange of feeling 
and opinion it showed in the leading men of all parties, and in the 
parties themselves, was a good omen for the future. The person 
who appeared in the least favourable position was Lord John 
Kussell. His party completely left him behind. 

In the first days of the session there was some compe- 
tition between Mr. Roebuck and Lord Ashley for priority 
in bringing before the House the controversies respecting 
Lord Ellenborough's annexation of Scinde, and his treat- 
ment of the Ameers. Lord Ashley, getting the first place, 
warmly espoused the cause of the Ameers. Condemnation 
of Lord Ellenborough involved condemnation of Sir Charles 
Napier, the chief executor of his polic3',and raised questions 
as between Napier and Major (afterwards Sir James) 
Outram — for Nastier, in superseding Outram, had rejected 
his methods and counsels. Roebuck, in moving an amend- 
ment to Lord Ashley's motion, in a speech of, for him, 
unusual length — heard, as the reports complain, with 
ilifHculty in the press gallery — devoted a large part of it 
to a championship of his old friend Napier. And, indeed, 
although the fact was not openly manifest in the debate, 
there was evidently behind the discussion very strong 
personal feeling between the partisans of Napier and 
Outram. As to Ellenborougli, while disliking his treatment 


'( • 



, tmm 



■ \ 

of the Ameers, in itself, Mr. Koebuck defended it as in- 
evitably necessitated by the impolitic conduct of his 
predecessor. Lord Auckland. Lord Ashley's motion of 
censure was negatived by a large majority. 

The Duke of Wellington told Lord Brougham, " Your 
friend Roebuck made a most excellent speech in the House 
last night." Lord Brougham : " Does he not always make 
excellent speeches ? " " Yes, yes, he does ; but he never 
made so good a one as last night. I agree in every word 
of it. I agree in all he said about Lord Auckland." Sir 
James Graham said Mr. Roebuck's speech naved the 
Government. The House was ready to listen that 
evening, and the Whigs were quite ready to make an 
onslaught on Lord Ellenborough, and with him General 
C. Napier, which was put an end to by Roebuck's speech. 

8h' W. Napier to Mr. Roehu/k. 

Your speech, though cruelly mauled by tlie papers, has given 
me as much pleasure as it has given pain to the Whigs, aud tliat 
is not small. 

A few days afterwards these controversies were again 
raised, on a motion of thanks to Sir Charles Napier * and 
his army, but in this debate, although Sir Robert Peel had 
given him early private warning, by his own hand, of the 
opposition to the motion, Mr. Roebuck did not speak. 
Only nine members voted against it — " The nine muses, 
graceless youths," Sir William Napier sarcastically dubbed 

In connection with the ten hours clause in the Factories 
Bill of this session, Mr. Roebuck unsuccessfully divided 
the House on a motion directed against interference with 
the power of adult labourers (^including women) to make 
contracts respecting the hours for which they shall be 

♦ Sir Emerson Tcnuant told Roebuck tlint he was one of a deputation 
to offer the kingdom of Greece to General Sir Charles Nupicr, who was iit 
that time iu Cephaluuiu. 




employed. His attitude at this time drew from Lord John 
Russell some sarcasms on his tendency to arrogate to him- 
self the possession of all the wisdom and purity of motive 
of the House ; and the Times, losing no opportunity to dis- 
parage its fierce foe, followed this up with au article heavy 
with lumbering irony. Commenting on this, a Welsh 
newspaper, claiming to speak neither as friend nor foe, but 
as a perfectly impartial spectator, said Mr. Roebuck's power 
and influence were undeniable, and wrote : 

Mr. Roebuck's position in Parliament is one he has good 
grounds to be proud of. He has power, and he owes uo patron 
anything for it. Nor did he obtain it by rank, by luck of loins, 
or any other luck. It is not the elfcct of auy adventitious 
circumstances. Such as it is, it is his own. His mind made it. 
He has a good strong mind, and that alone, unaided and un- 
friended, has made its possessor what he is. 

It was somewhat remarkable that Sir James Graham, 
while admitting Mr. Roebuck's arguments to be un- 
answerable, weakly excused himself from acting on them. 
The Times called this a "confession that he felt with the 
philosopher, though forced to act with fools." 

/'. A. Taylor to J. A. Roebuck. 

May 7, 1844. — Will you allow me to plead the interest I fool 
in the Factory question, and the stops I have taken through our 
mutual friend, Dr. Black, in regard to it, in excuse of my express- 
ing the obligations that I consider the opponents of that measure 
are under to you for your very admirable speech in the House on 
Friday ? If any evidence wore necessary to show the effect it 
must have produced, it is amply furnished by tin; vituperation it 
and you have met with from the journals of the two factions, and 
the soreness of the Whig leader. Lord John Russell. liut in and 
out of the House your arguments remain unanswered and un- 
touched, and their truth will, I fear, be ultimately proved by those 
conse(|uences of which you have given warning, though uuavail- 

Mr. Roebuck's share in the episode connected with Mr. 









Ferraiul's char;;os against Sir James Graham and Mr. Hogg, 
which occurred in this session, will be told in a chapter 
recording Mr. Roebuck's duelling experiences.* 

The following record relates to the end of 1844 : — 

For five days Mr. Roebuck has licen engaged in a cause before 
tlie Privy Council relating to u dispute between the Lieut. - 
Governor (Xapior) and the bailiff and jurats regarding the 
interpretation of the laws of the Island of (iuernscy. On all 
hands Mr. Roebuck has l)een complimented for the very able 
manner of doing business. Baron Rolfe ])raised ; Lord-Chancellor 
Lyndhurst was very attentive and kind. General "William Napier t 
writes word to-day, " I hear from Dampier, from Brotherton, 
from Cavendish lioyle, and from my brother Richard, who is 
rather a fastidious critic, that your talents, your knowledge of 
your subject, your sliarpncss of repartee, your self-possession and 
temper (this last from l)anii)ier) were very remarkable." 

* See pod^cliap. xvii. p. lOti. 

t Then Governor of tlio Islnnd of Guernsej'. 













In 1845 Mr. Roebuck purchased Ashley Arncwood, a 
j)Ieasant old manor-house with a delightful garden and 
about two hundred acres of land attached to it, situated 
six miles from Christchurch, on the edge of the New Forest. 
His idea was to farm this propert}', and he did so for 
some time ; but as his engagements increased in London, 
it w&i found impossible to carry on both London and 
country work at the same time. This necessitated the 
constant presence of Mrs. Roebuck at Ashley, where she 
undertc»ok the study of ])ractical farming, and eventually 
made it a success. 

"I remember well," writes Miss Roebuck, "her pride 
in her beautiful herd of cows. My father used to come 
home on Saturday', returning to town the next Monday, 
but almost every day that he was absent he wrote to my 
mother, and sometimes twice a day. In the end of 1854f, 
after my father recovered from his illness, the farm was 
given up, and we went to live at 10, Ashley Place." 

In the spring of 184.5 I\Ir. Roebuck engaged with Lord 
Duncan in a debate on the oft-battled question of the 
Window Tax. He renewed his protest against subject- 
ing incomes derived from professions and trades to the 
same tax as incomes from property ; and he obtained the 
fiupport of thirty-two members for a motion designed to 
extend the incidence of the Income Tax to Ireland. In 


I ti 





connection with Mr. T. Duncombe's attack on Sir Janie» 
Graham for post-office espionage, he denounced ministerial 
tampering with letters in the post-office, and supported 
Lord Howick's unsuccessful motion for a select committee 
to inquire into the allegation that Mr. Duncombe's letters 
had been detained and opened. It was in the debate on 
the subject that Mr. Disraeli attacked Sir Robert Peel with 
scathing vehemence, and originated the famous phrase, 
" that, having caught the Whigs bathing, he had run off 
with their clothes." On the (iue.s*ion of the settlement of 
New Zealand, Mr. Roebuck strongly insisted on unity of 
administration, and sketched a plan for making the island 
self-governing and self-supporting. But hero he did not 
refrain from indulging in an attack upon the missionaries. 
By charging them with base and sordid motives, he gave 
great offence, while his support of the Government proposal 
to increase the Maynooth grant brought him into further 
conflict with a section of his constituents. 

/. A. Piovhiu'k to William Tail. 

Aiiijust 2(», IH-li"). — I have determined to write a history of the 
Whig Administration from lHi>0 to 1841, and shall go by arrange- 
ment to Cannes* this winter, for the purpose of acquiring 
information respecting certain parts tliereof. In what way 
Bhould such a work be published ? Money is not my chief 
purpose ; but while furthering my political views, I should not 
object to making a penny. Pennies are not so plentiful with me 
as to make me careless of them. 

September 8, 1845. — Do not object to the somewhat exalted 
tone of the paper. The tendency of things now is so prone to 
u vulgar selfishness that we ought to do something to introduce 
a more generous tone of morality. I smiled at the notion of 
my fiving on the reputation of what I mijiht do. The world is 
not very wilHng to give me credit even for that which I have 

Towards tho end of this year Mr. Roebuck undertook 

* Where Lord Urou<;haui was rebidin''. 


a private mission to Belgium in connection with tho 
promotion of a railway enterprise. The following letters 
<lescribe his experiences, and his impressions of the Court 
of Brussels and the people and politicians of Belgium : — 

To Jft's. Uofhuch. 

Hotel lie Flandi-e, linissrlsy Noi'embd' 8, lS4r». — I arrived at 
Brussels after a trying and most disagreeable journey, with six 
hours of constant illness. On arriving at Ostend, owing to being 
cramped in one position, I fell suddenly and conii)letely lame. 
The king arrived from Paris to-day, and I have made arrange- 
ments for an audience. This lameness stops work ; but as you 
know how often it happens, I am never surprised at it. I am 
near the church, and was awakened this morning at five o'clock 
by the row of bells, which continued some hours, to the annoyance 
and discomfort of such mundane people as wished to sleep. 

November 9, 1845 ; Sumlaij, fen o\'lock. — I mark the day 
and hour, for without it you would not enter into the next part 
of my history. Just now is playing a very pretty march of 
Mozart's on the carillons, as a preliminary to the grand Mass. 
This to an EngUsh pietist must seem strange. I asked if there 
was to be any music to-day at the Mass, remembering that in 1830 
I had heard some pretty music— a regular orchestra — at church 
on Sunday ; and I remember both mine and Graham's astonish- 
ment when we heard the music of the opera in the great church 
at Bruges. The answer to my inquiry was, " Xo, monsieur, there 
is nothing but the organ and singing. The archbishop has 
changed everything, and prohibited all profane music in the 
church." "To make it more grave," said I. "Yes, sir. 
Everything is changed since the time of the French," answered 
the i;/rrfon. " Ah ! I have seen sixteen revolutions, and every 
one has left us pamres r/ens worse off than before." I now 
hear the drums in the distance ; the carillon is hushed, and a 
loud organ is playing. I can hear everything nearly as well as 
if I were in the church, in place of being in bed, where my lame 
leg still chains me. 

November 10. — I have just returned from witnessing the 
opening of the Legislative Session, and was ama/.ed by the farcical 
imitation of France and England. The form of the chamber 


I k 









is Rciuicircnliir, ua in Frunw, witii tribnnos liU round up tt) tlio 
»;eiiin,i;, iiko a tiiciitrc. Tlio room is liiriiju, Init not ut till pretty 
or imposinjr. Tlio tliin^j: tliut most struck — I may sivy shocked — 
mc, was the applaus,; irivcn, hy the nieml»ers clappiiij,' their hands 
and shoutinii " lia lieiiio ! " or " Le lioi ! " Fancy the House ol 
Oommons, with the SiK;aker in the chair, clappini^ their hands 
and shoutin-r like a mob at a theatre ! The kiui? is growinj; old 
and intirm. His manners are sedate. 

At one o'clock to-morrow, Van der lln<rcn writes me word, 
that the kiui,' wishes to see me at Laken ; and then I receive an 
invitation to dine with their ^lajesties here in IJrusscIs at six 
o'clock. Royal invitations are commands ; so I jjo. I also hope 
to soon take win<^. My residence here has heen anythini; hut 
unuisinu'. T have i)assed days hound to my bed in jri'i-'at pain, and 
shall Ih) glail to be free of my Ie.ir8 airain. The weather is 
beautiful, and I am sittini; at this moment with my windows 
open : and, thoufjli it is nearly eight o'clock, they are 8ino;inf»- 
away in the Church as if it were niorniu'j;. This sim]>le Church 
music — the broad style — is the (mly tliiuu: which pleases mc. 
About an hour since, I hobbled into the church. The singinj; 
was not what it is now. At the present moment it is simply 
a part of the reirular Church Service, and is the old nuisic ; but 
when I was in the church, they saufj what in style wotdd have 
suited well with the FUmto Jt<t;/iro, or any other ])opular 
opera. At one cud of the church were three priests, evidently 
sufferin<( from bad colds, crossinji' themselves vehemently. At 
tlie other end was the director of the band, the leader, stick 
in hand, Icadini^ with all the antics and placid fury of a regular 
maestro. Still, the singing was pretty, but nothing to the fine 
masculine broad stud' that now compels jue to listen. 

Friiftii/, Norvmhci- II. — Yesterday was raining, after the 
fasliion of London, all day ; and through the slosh I went to 
Laken to wait on tlie king. I fouiul him extremely civil, talking 
as if he had known me all my life, imiuired after my lameness, 
etc. He has a fashion of shutting one eye, and of putting his 
head on one side, that gives him a resemblance to a jackdaw 
looking into a bone. 

Well, I returned ; and, as I was to dine, I sent for a crush- 
hat. Full tilt comes the hatter. " ]!i[onsicur wants a hat to go 
to the palace to-night ? Monsieur shall have one immediately — 



witli )i fcatlior, I ? " 

"What liiivo I to do with such iioiisc 

A feather? Tho <\-\ !" f sai.l. 



I, inoiisK'ur 

it is u rh'1/ifin/ i/i/il(ii>i"fii/nr. 

/Ji/i/i>/)ii//iiii/f or not, [ want 

a jilaiii, simple hat fit for a ;,'ontU,'inan, not a moiintel)ank : so »,'i't 
1110 one." The man seuiueil (|uiti! out of spirits, hut did as \u'. 
was bid. In due time I went to the palace, wliere f found 
the company arran<;ed nloni; the walls of the room — the women 
toijfether, thou the diplomatic hotly, then menilwrs of tin; 
Chambers, and lastly, the miin'sters. When the kiui; and (|ueen 
entered, he took the lead, and spoke to every person in sucoessiou. 
Her ^fajesty spoke French- Ku'^'lish. " Is it of n lonir time, Mr. 
Iloebuek, that you are here?" She eouuoled with me on my 
Iftineness, and saiil that the kinu; had told hi-r that I was a 
sufferer. After dinner, her ^lajesty sent Van de AVeyer t(» me. 
She ho])ed I would sit, as she knew I was in pain, and was sorry 
to see me Iciinin^j;. All this was very civil, and very considerate. 
On goin*;' into the dininii-rooni, F to(»l< the lirst seat tiiat offered, 
iind soon addressed my next neiLrhboMr, whom I found to lie 
n member of the Chamber, a Liberal, and thorou<i:hly anti- 
ratholic. We talked for some tiiiK-, and at last fell upon the 
forms of the Chamber. I spoke of the clappint,' of hands as 
to nic new, and not alto.uetlier belittini;, sayini;, '• I have a 
sort of feelinp; of caste about it, l)ein,tf myself a member of 
a representative body. "What body?" '"The House of 
Coniiiions." " All ! then yon can tell me if a comjiatriotof yours 
is at tiiis table, whom you can point out to me. It is Mr. 
Roebuck who is here, for the kini? told me sd. Do you know 
him?" "Yes, indeed, for I am he!" AVe struck up an 
acquaintance ; and afterwards I ^^ot Van de Wcyer to formally 
introduce me. I was also introduced to a ^I. van Praet, who 
is in oHice here, and a man of some importance, but a reirular 
co.Kcomb. He speaks English perfe(;tly. 

Noremhor IH. — Lord Arran took me over the house beloufriui;' 
to the Due d'Aremberi; — a line specimen of a nobleman's house. 
There arc some j^ood Dutch pictures, and one tiiinu,- above price, 
the head of the Laocoiin — the real (I reek head, lieside it they 
liave a cast of IMicliael Aiijjelo's restoration, and the inferiority 
of the j'Tcat Italian is very remarkable. The (J reek head 
is of a hitiher character : tlie i)ain felt is more intensely marked ; 
and anything- more wonderful than the mere handling' of the 






I 3 



marlilc 1 never saw. Yon wonld declrtre it was fli'sli. This 
was the only thin},' that exeitod iind interested nie in tht; lionsc, 
wliicli, nevertheless, wonld have been a sonrce of jrreat deli<j:ht 
to yon, as it was fnll of all sorts of inconceivable china. Arran, 
who is bitten, like yourself, was in raptures with the vases, etc. 
I find all the houses built on a Spanish plan of a square, with 
nn open centre and rooms on the sides of the fpiadranirle. They 
have a fjrand air, but are not fit for the climate— dark and 
dismal ; for a hot climate deliirhtful. What would be delicious 
in Spain or Italy, appears wretched here. You want to court 
light and heat in this cold nook of the world. 

Yesterday I went to a distribution of musical prizes by the 
^Minister of the Interior, in the presence of the kiui^ and (jueen. 
It was a pretty show, and took place in a vacant Protestant 
church fitted up for the occasion. The music very Rood, the 
}>eoi»le excecdinirly well-dressed. The population, however, is 
awfully u<rly. To-day I am poinf? to the debate on the Kind's 
SlKiech, in the Chamber of Representatives, for which Van de Weyer 
has just sent me a permanent ticket. They are all miu'hty civil. 
I only wish they would settle my business and let me <ro. 

yavimhir 'M. — I have not brou<rht affairs here to a close. 
There is now a Ministerial crisis in this IJarataria, and Van der 
Ha<,'en and his colleairues are now fi<;htin<j: for their lives in the 
Chambers. Not being men of business, they can think of 
jiothing but their debate, and consecjuently all business, important 
or not, is postponed to this personal strife. Fancy a debate, 
which bosrins at half-past twelve, and ends at four p.m., occupying 
the whole mind of a ^linistry ! The members of the Chambers 
take matters very coolly. When four o'clock comes, there is a 
general cry of " Adjourn ; we must go to dinner ! " 

The various tables iVhulc begin at half-past four, so delay 
beyond the hour of four is a loss of a cheap dinner. So ends the 
day's work. One need not wonder at English influence and success, 
when such things occur. Sir Robert Peel and Sir .James 
Craham would repose on roses had they only a debate of three 
or four hours to think of ; and such a debate I The funniest 
row you ever heard — interruptions of all sorts, cries, interpellations, 
little speeches made sitting ; the President shouting, " Don't 
interrupt ! " with his hammer like an auctioneer, and in despei-atc 
cases ringing his bell like the postman ; five members on their 

! » 



lejrs at once, frostieuliitiiic: like niiulmcn, iind the tribunes full of 
people slioiitiiij;, luutrliiiii:, criticiziii;; — make up ii iH'dluin ratlier 
than a tk'lilterutive nsseml)ly. Arran and I had three days of 
it, and are sick of it. 'I'he ijrnorance, too, of wliat is Roinj,' oti 
around thcni is wonderful. There were (constant appeals nuxdo 
to Knirh'sh Parhaniontary usajrc, and as Van der Haf^'cn is the 
head of the Opposition, we naturally talked over the debate. I 
vave him hints from our history, and described some of nnr rules. 
lie did not know wliat was meant by the Leader of the House 
of Commons ! lie did not know that Peel was the present eliief 
of the Tory party, knew nothinir of Karl Orey, and as for Lord 
Altliorp, he neither knew nor conld pronounce liis name. 
Notwithstandinu: all this, they all (pioted Ku'^'lish history and 
example with the utmost contidencc, and one man went so far as 
l)oldly to assert that Peel had dissolved Parliament since last 
(!omin<r into oUice ; and turning' round with great self-complaccni!y 
to an ojjponent at the same time, he requested him not to quote 
En^'Iish history a^^Min without bein^ better informed ! So much 
for tiiis nonsense. I am off for Ostend at three o'clock to-day. 






While Mr. Roebuck was absent in Brussels, this country 
was face to face with that national disaster — the failure 
of the potato crop. This swept away the remaining 
vestige of Peel's cleavings to the Corn Laws, leading up 
to Ministerial dissensions and party revolt. When Mr. 
Roebuck paid a flying visit to London, he found the 
country eagerly watching the movements of ministers, and 
drawing the most ominous conclusions from those meetings 
of the Cabinet, at which Peel was fighting out his struggle 
with some of the most influential of his colleagues. The 
moment was seized by Lord John Russell to write his 
famous Edinburgh letter, declaring himself against the 
Corn Laws ; and the excitement was increased by the 
announcement that Peel had decided on convening Parlia- 
ment for the first days of January, to recommend a 
consideration of this impost preparatory to its total repeal. 
The day after this statement was made, Peel resigned, 
with assurances of his readiness to support measures in 




i" I 




accordance with the gf :ioral principle of Lord John 
Russell's letter. By the time Mr. Roebuck had returned 
to Brussels, Lord John Russell had confessed his inability 
to form a Ministry, owing to Lord Grey's insistence 
that Palmerston should not be Foreign Secretary. Sir 
Robert Peel, with a reconstructed Cabinet, was, in 
conseciuence, reinstalled in office. The following letter, 
written on Mr. Roebuck's return to Belgium, gives a vivid 
account of the turmoil accompanying these events, of 
the mystery surrounding them, and also of the inability 
of politicians to divine their true outcome : — 

To Mrs. Roebwk. 

Jirussfls, Dcmnbcr 2!), 1815. — ... On my arrival iu town 
I found a letter from F. Mills, appoiutinj]: a incetiu<; at the 
Reform Club. I had a cold run to Dover. We went on board 
the steamer, some half-dozen pereons, all men, more like criminals 
jjoinij; to execution, than mere voyagers crossinjij the Channel. 
I remained on deck to see the plunge throuj'h the surf at the bar 
of the harbour. The si,u;ht was fine, and the .gallant vessel seemed 
indeed instinct with life. Through it we dashed — right through 
all the seas, coming out on the other side in comparatively smooth 
water. The wind, luckily, was fair, and we drove before it like 
a mere flake of froth on the top of the waves. Our crossing was 
done in five hours and a half. The rain, when we reached Ostend, 
falling as if it was resolved to flood the countiy, which resolve — 
if such it made — is now fulHUed. Such a slop I never saw ! ft 
was pitiable to see the fi(ids of wheat lying in such a swash. 
Nothing would tempt me to live in a country of this description. 
Walking is out of the (piestion, and if you drive, you can only 
go on a raised causeway with a deep ditch on each side, and 
sweltering fields all around, as far as the eye can reach. 

As for London, I never saw it in such a hubbub ; everybody 
saying to his neighbour, " "Well, what arc i eel's plans ? " 
Answer : " I don't know." And still the (piostion repeated. 
The quidnuncs of the Reform Club were a study. Rumours and 
stories of all sorts llyiug about, among them one I certainly 
do not believe, though I really wish it was true, viz. that 
Brougham is to be the President of the Council in Peel's Cabinet. 




The sum of the news is, that nobody knoirn anythinj? respecting 
Peel's plans, and everybody is <i;uessin<; at them. My own 
opinion is, that he has none yet settled ; but I fear he will bo 
driven from oIKce, no matter what plan he takes. The boldest 
will be the safest ; bnt his character is not one to follow such 
a course. 

As is well known, Sir Ilobert Peel aid take the boldest 
course, for in the onsuinf; session he brought in his famous 
measure of Free Trade. 

1^ ^ 
' III 

To Mrs. RocbuHi. 

tirussc/s, Jii.'i'ari/ 1, ISIU. — . . . News I have none. I 
shall see the kim; in a fev; hours. The New Year's Day passes 
in payinjj: visits. Everybody calls on everybody ; and the kin<^ 
and queen receive everybody. The poor kinj^ complained to 
me of "the love these i)eople have for Iouil^ speeches." '* I hope 
they do not retiuire of your IMajesty lonii^ si>eechos in return ?" 
"f)li yes, they do. I make them all, and it is very fati^uinji^, 
I assure you," he replied. 

Jinni(tr>i 7. — Yesterday I dined with an advocate here, quite 
mfamille — a very pretty dinner, (piiet, and well mana<red. They 
are wlat we should call well-bred people ; nothiuj^ distin,<ruished, 
not marked with the peculiar stamp oi'/riifh'Du/ii, but still, I should 
say, of a better description than a conunon London lawyer's class. 
The lady is not Heliiian, but Trench — clever, (|iiick, well-bred, 
not iio!)/('. It is stranire — in spite of the Revolution — of what 
importance this mark seems yet to be. They talk of vi/ali/i' ,- it 
does not exist — that is, social equality — and I, for my jiart, believe 
such a Lhinu; wholly impossible. The dill'erence may rest u])ou 
a dilferent foundation than it now does, but dill'erence there 
always must be — social dilVereiice, that is. The conversation was 
chiefly respectini; Enuland and Hiit^lish habits, of which they 
necessarily l.ave extremely imperfect and incolierent m)tious. 
They seemed surprised at my abstinence, not at all in accordance 
with their preconceived notions of Hn^lishmen. Moreover, 
anionic advocates, I found myself alone dressed for dinner. 
These classes have, api)areiitly, no medium between ollicial 
costiunes— uniform, iu fact — and eveiy-day dress. The hi^dier 
classes do as we do, and imitate our dress. The ludicrous part 

i !i 





oli the matter is tlie funny imitation of the varmint man — tlio 
attempt ut a daHhinu: tilbury, doufs, horses, f,'uns, liuntinj,', 
top-boots, and leathers, etc. The drollest i\n\\% I have seen 
is the supposed \vi<? of the rorliir Aiuilaia. I have half a fancy to 
buy one as a curiosity. The hif tele do moiiton is the only thiug 
that equals it. 

I went afterwards to the play. The theatre pretty, and the 
prima dotuia said to be Kn<;lisli. She was pretty, but witliout 
a fine voice. I was bored to death with the row-dow and the 
smell of pis. ]\Ioreover, a AV///^ is not a Trenchman. The 
mercurial CJaul is a nuich more amusinj^ animal than these 
present supposed descendants of the ancient Bcl«j:i. 

Yesterday morninu:, wantinu: to see the ^linister of Public 
Works, I wrote him a note, simply askini? him lo see me some 
time after twelve o'clock. I <;ot for answer, that, as ]\I. le 
Ministre did not understand Kn<,disli, I nuist have the goodness 
to wait until my note was translated. Shortly after, the pirgou 
of the hotel conies running into my room with an open note 
in his hand. " It is you, monsieur, who wrote this hillcl, is it 
not ? " " My own note, by the Lord ! " said I to myself. " Yes. 
"Well, what then ? " " Why, inonsieur, they can understand it all 
at the MinistiTP except this word " — pointing to twelve. " T' ,;t is 
deux, is it not ? " "Not two, but twelve miiUy "Ah, par cxl i/) : !" 
said the gar^on, and ruslnMl out to explain to some one below 
the meaning of the mystic tirrlro. 

The minister at length sent me an answer. I saw him ; and 
after we had talked over business, asked me very civilly to his 

ball last evening. I went with the A 's. I speak by the 

(!ard when I say that I did not see one jm'tty womau. The 
Melgians are, to my fancy, universally hideous. They were well- 
dressed, and the rooms were elegantly furnished — some jjccu- 
liarities. indeed, to be seen : little places for birds, ^•ham grottoes 
with S(|nirting fountains, iuid gold-tish in a pan. i left early. 
The weather detestable : we have had snow, frost, rain, fog 
— everything that weiitlur ciin bring. 

The fools of Holland and i?elgium, who seem by Providence 
I'hosen to rule over both countries, are trying to add their small 
modicum of dispute and ipiarrel Lo the mass which is fernienting 
throughout the world. To s]iite each other, these two countries 
have begun a war of tarilTs, and cannot understand that they 




are each respectively cnttinj,' oil' their own noses. Ilollaml 
imports eoal, iiavitiL; none, wliicli coal JJel^iinn provides cheap. 
Holland, in a lit of spite, puts a duty mx coal ; but this will 
fall of necessity only on the poor Dutelnnau, who will pay the 
tax in the shape of iurreased price. lleren[)on, the hrari' /Ifli/i' 
,1,'cts nia<i;nilicently antiry. and proposes to put a duty on (police, 
snj^'ar, and wood, all of whi(;h absolute necessaries Holland 
furnishes. So, because the Dulchinan cuts oir his own nose, tlio 
Flaniaud, in a passion, and to satisfy his own injured honour, 
does the same. Was ever tli(!re anytliiuif so absolutely mad ? 

./(iiiiKirif 1,"). — Well, yesterday 1 went to the ball [at the 
Palace]. The invitation eame, as ex|K;eted, but I learned the 
wisdom of SaiKjho J'auza's rule, " Thoui^h your wife's advice 
be bad, if you do not take it you are mad." I left my Court 
tou"i:eryaL home, and last iiiulit wanted it: so I went out and 
hired the lU'l^ian (V)..rt dress— a sort of half civil, half military 
uniform. When the danciuii; had continued some time, the kiui;' 
rose, and went into one of the salons for the puri^se of tidkini;. 
I happened to be there, when the kitiii' came to me, and kejiL 
me half an hour in conversation. Heinn- in Heli-ian costume, the 
English could not make out who I was. The kini,^ was very 
civil, and trial to pump me as to my views on the coming- storn\ 
in th(! House of Commons, I said to him what I sliouKl have 
said to any one elst', and lie seemed well pleased. 

Nobody (Enii'lish) seems to know anybody but tne nobles 
here ; but they are a sad, vai)id, and etVetc set, while the bourj^^eois, 
lawyers, etc., are men of ability. Tlu-re must have been six 
hundred i)er8ons present last nii-ht. The only pretty English- 
woman was a Lady IJedinu'liLid— very handsome, and, when 
youuir, must have been trauseendent. J met Keppel [liord 
Albemarle], who has nctw left. Heeiiin' me, he cried, '* Any 
commands for Ashley ?" He is jione to try Lymin,<,'ton. This 
business keeps me a close prisoner in Hrussels. 

Jduuanj 17. — Mreakfasted this morninii,- with the American 
minister here, Mr. Clemson. Had a loni;- confab with his wife, 
rt thoroughly (southern) American lady. She is a daughter of 
Calhoun. The conversation turned on the uses of Indian corn. 
I shall sow some for an experiment, as proposed by Clemson. 

This experiment was tried iu the garden at Ashley 

II ' ■ 

'1 , 

» !t 


• '^ . 







I! I 



I ii 


I- f' 

4 Is 



Arnewood. Well-manured mounds of earth being pre- 
pared, the corn was planted in American fashion, viz. three 
corn seeds and one pumpkin (squash) to a mound. The 
summer being unusually favourable, the success was 
comi)lete. The plants grew to six and seven feet high, 
and the cobs ripened completely. 







( 167 ) 


THE FALL OF PEEL. 1846-1847. 

It is unfortunate that there are but slight references in 
Mr. Roebuck's papers to the great events of the first half 
of 184G, when Peel, triumphant over the systematic obstruc- 
tion with which Lord George Bentinck and Mr. Disraeli 
fought the battle of the Protectionists, was driven from 
office by hi.^ furious followers, who made the Irish Coercion 
Bill the medium for wreaking their vengeance. Writing 
to Mr. Tait, Edinburgh, on January 28, the day after Sir 
Robert Peel had explained his proposals for the reduction 
of import duties, both on manufactured articles and on food 
and corn, Mr. Roebuck exclaimed, " Well, Sir Robert is the 
best reformer, after all. We are really going ahead." The 
following was written on the same date : — 

To Mrs. Bochuck. 

London, Jamiartf 28, 1840. — . . . Peel has certainly settled 
the (luestion of coru protection, ns you will see by the piipcr ^ 
send. You know I have always said, if he had couratre to 
pn)(luc(! a new and trood tariff, ho mi^lit succeed. He has nearly 
done this. A new tariff, and, in certain matters, a u'ood tariff, 
he has proposed to us, and it mnst be acce])ted. The landlords 
and tlie Iiea<,'ue will .i,'rnml)l',> : but they must yield, Tlie Tica^ue 
will Iw ans^ry because their game is up. The lecturers, the 
printers, the patriots, will cease to have a pretext for their union, 
their outcry, and cruo, for their pay, and thus an army of noisy 
people will be suddenly disbanded. This of itself will give rise 
to petty disturbances ; but they are done for. The landlords, poor 


if 0* 

Ml • 





i , 



fools, faucy themselves ruiiicil, but tliey will find themselves 
happily deceived ; in a short time all will go right. Tlie 
worst part of the tarilf is the putting oil" the tinal settlement 
for three years, and the sugar duties. In fact, only one harvest 
really will be ailected by the new ]>ill ; and for the benefit, if 
any, of this proteetion, you have three years' uncertainty. The 
great measure is put off till Monday week, but I shall not ))e able 
to leave till Saturday. The Temple all'airs recjuire my presence. 

June 23, 1H4G.— I wish to have Keene's lUiUi Journal. See 
if there is a letter signed "Gossip." It contains what is a 
correct version of the !Montpensier l)usiness. The source of the 
information, the author, and the letter, you can easily guess. 

Mr. Roebuck's Parliamentary attendance during the 
earlier portion of the session was lax. Professional busi- 
ness seems to have taken him away, but he flung himself, 
on occasion, into the Corn Law fray. With JVIr. Disraeli 
then in the full swing of his terrible invectives against 
Peel, Mr. Roebuck rc[)eatedly crossed swords. They were 
not mere fencing-bouts. Occasionally, indeed, Mr. Disraeli 
somewhat contemptuously parried, but at other times he 
retaliated with a vicious earnestness that left wounds. 

To Mrs. Rochmk. 

June. 2, 184G. — Last night, as we were leaving the House, 
Mr. Shell* addressed me. 

S. " Do you not intend to vote with us against this Bill ? " 
(Peel's Coercion Bill). 

R. " That depends." 

*S'. exclaimed upon this, "Why, surely you who have voted 
against all Coercion Bills will not support this ? You will not 
agree to shut the people up all night ? " 

A'. " But what answer will Lord John give me ? Will he 
pledge himself and his friends not to bring in a Coercion Bill ? " 

S. " They cannot do it ! " 

R. " Aye, aye ; I hardly know what they can do. I must have 
some positive declaration to that effect, and, what is more, the 
country must have it, for it reiiuires it." 

* The Right Hou. Lalor Shell, then M.P. for Dungarvon. 





S. " That is impossible ! " 

A'. "No honest iium — uo man will tleiiy that erimo exists tt> 
u fearful extent in Ireland. If thin!,'s remain as they are, the 
law must be streii,i;theiied, and I tell yon what they outxht to do, 
and ))rol)ably will do — susprnd the HalK'as ('urpus in certain 
localities, not in larize towns, and not for |M(litical puriMi^es. This 
beintf done, every roijue — for they are well known— can be taken 
up at once. For example, I myself, with tiiaL .Mr. Cohen, whose 
name has been so often mentioned, wt)nld in a few hours be aide 
to take up every ro,<(ue in Tii>perary. At present the e.\i>tini; 
law is utterly paralyzed, and somelhinj,' must be done to protect 
the lives of the people." 

Mr. Roebuck did, however, vote acijainst the l)ill, and 
thus heli)ed to defeat tho minister who bud given Free 
Trade to Enf^land. This did \\y)i prevent him Ironi 
adopting his cu.stomary attitude of contemi)tuous hostility 
to Lord John Russell and tho new Whig Ministry, more 
especially on their policy as to Parliamentary reform and 

Ireland, with its I'aniinc and its outrages, had tho lii'st 
place in the Queen's Speech opening the session of 1S47. 
Having niisseil the golden opportunity presented by Lord 
IStardey's Lill of l.St.'), intended to give ellect to the maiii 
recommendations of the Devon Commission, Parliament 
was destined to go on, talking and tiidcering year utter 
year, confronted by evils to the root of wbieh, in face of 
the oi)i)osition of tho land-holding peers, it had not the 
courage to go. 

The following refers to a speech made in the debate on 
the Address. It counselled the extension of tho existing 
Poor Law to Ireland, as well as the im[)ositiou of an 
Income 'i'ax. It also described the real position of Irish 
landlords with reiiard to their tenants. 



\ I 

To J/,s. Rueburh. 

London, Jiiiii/ar/j I'l, \n,[', 

I stirred up the landlonls 

of Ireland after my fashion. The Irish are really furious 

but I 



spoke the opinions of nine-tenths of the people of England, and, 
as usual, the House paid me the coiuplinient of profound atten- 
tion. Tlie hit was successful, and as Dizzy followed, and failed 
completely, the contrast was amusing. The Timea has a fair 

I breakfasted with Brougham. The Government are to bring 
forward their plans with a proposal to remit the present duty on 
corn, and to suspend the Navigation Laws. Molasses to be used 
in breweries and distilleries, and the price of barley to fall, theij 
my. I say no. Famine threatens everywhere. The ministers 
are right glad to have me bear the brunt of the battle, as it 
affords them a means of parrying the constant attacks of these 
insjitiate mendicants. The people of England are with me, and 
are delighted to have some one who will speak the truth amongst 
all this hurly-l)urly of caut, hypocrisy, and selfishness. Tiie 
weather is frightful. 

On iiie third day of the session Lord John Russell's 
proposal to suspend the Navigation Laws came on. Mr. 
Roebuck wished them to be altogether abolished ; but this 
was resented by Mr. Disraeli and Lord George Bentinck, 
with the result that there was a " scrimmage." 

To Mm. Roebuck. 

Jaiiuatii 22. — We had a scrimmage last night. I received 
from every quarter thanks and congratulations f(>r my speech, iind 
this morning Keppel * met me with open arms, and declared in 
most exaggerated terms that mine was one of the most clocjuent 
speeches he had heard. Now, this is a phrase, and as a phrase 
goes for nothing. I could see from Lord John's manner, and 
that of all his uudorstnippers, that they desire my .assistance. I 
shall not be able to be at homo to-morrow. On Monday the 
grand Irish row begins, and I shall have to meet all the rabid 
Irishmen who howl for sport. 

Siihirddi/, January 2o. — My doings have certsiinly produced 
an effect. The people of Bath are in ecstasies, and the protection 
gentry are furious. 

On January 25, Lord John Russell introduced the Govern- 
* The lute Lord Albemarle. 




ment scheme for alleviating the present, and improving 
the future, condition of Ireland. 

To Mrs. Iioelntck. 

Janimr// 27.— Next week will be ti busy one, as then the 
Irish discussion will come ttn in earnest, and iiavinj? already taken 
H prominent part in it, I must j^o on. Lord John's scheme is 
ii foolish one. He spoke exceed inijly well, and his eoncludini^ 
advi(!e to Irishmen was really exeellent. The introdneticm of an 
effective I'oor fiaw into Ireland will also do much i,'oo(l ; but the 
attempt to buy waste lands, and lend money to landlords, will 
never do. and I am (|uite certain will not be permitted by the 
En,t,'lish. My conduct has been luiiversally api)roved, and I 
receive letters from all quarters expressini; a hope that I may 
continue to stand up for the Kntjlish. I cannot understand why 
Lord John should have fathered su(!h a scheme. I have a fancy 
that if I choose to meet the Ministry steadily this year, they will 
endeavour to make friends. I shall not deal in a hostile spirit 
with them, but shall certainly employ my power upon their 
doinjrp, not ujmn them. It is strant,'e how completely I have 
assumed my old position in the House. People fancied (and 
the Palmerites especially) that because I did nothimr last year 
my vocation was gone. There is an infernal orLjau grinding away, 
and putting all my ideas into confusion. 

JtiiiiKtr// :H), 1847. — We had a meeting with Lord John 
yesterday. The deputation consisted of delegates from all the 
Metropolitan parishes, and they all declared they would vote for 
no one who did not support my motion to extend the Income and 
Property Tax to Ireland. 

/' idai/, February 11. — We had a grand scrimmage last night, 
when I gave Lord George Bentinck an infliction such as he never 
got before. The House in ecstasies of applause, Whigs and all. 
As usual, the real scene is not, and could not be, given merely by 
giving the speeches, and consefiucntly the newspapers are but a 
poor transcript of the proceedings. The Treasury benches are 
beginning to find that they need me, and are now civil. The 
Peelites very nearly took me round the neck. The debate begins 
to-night on the Irish Railway Bill,* but will not end. 

* Lord Gcorgo Bentinck's flchomo for lending £10,000,000 to Irish rail- 
way cuaipanieH. It was tLrown out on second reading by 214 majority. 



t ii 



Lord John culled hi.s friends toirethcr yesterday — I, for tin; 
nonce, lH'iii<( one — and told thi.'in tlmt Ik; would rcsi^'n if the 
lliiilwiiy Hill was carried. This upset thu Irish, wiio are, without 
exception, the most consununate rascals tiiat ever bore the name 
of j,'entlemen. At one timi; the Whiles fancied tiiat the union of 
the I'iv)tecti(mist8 and the [rish would <,'ive Crcori^e Hentiufik a 
majority ; now it is quite certain that the Ministry will have a j^'ood 
division — I believe a f?ood majority. The feelin<^ out-of-doors 
afjainst the Irish [miMubers] j,'r()ws apace, and I am overwhelmed 
with letters applaudinij my conduct. 

On Wednesday I dined with i\Iackin!ion and the literary men. 
. . . Mr. Douj^Ias Jerrold is, I find, the cock of a little walk, tlic 
small leader of a small set who admire and praise him. 

Napier* hiis written to me, sendiui^ extracts from Irish letters, 
conlirminj^ all I have said. I am absolutely besieged by deputa- 
tions of all sorts, and I was pestered yesterday by a parson, who 
wished me to present a petition to impeach Lord John Ilussell. 
I gave him to understand that I thought he had better take some 
cooling medicine, lie bonueed out in great dudgeon. 

Fi'bnuiiif IH, 1S47. — The debate! began last night, and, as I 
expected, was adjourned, and uiay last some days. The plot 
thickens, and the whole burden of resistance is so completely 
thrown on myself tliat I see no chance of getting away. 

The Irish Poor Law, as proposed by the Government, is a 
useless measure, and no one is prepared to make it efficient, and 
if I go away. the money will be granted, and we shall have no 
security for tlie future maintenance of the poor Irish by the rich 
of that country. In this state of things I am compelled to 
remain, and while the frost remains with us, no farming can 
go on, so, in fact, no harm happens beyond the annoyance of 
being here alone. 

The " hubbub " mentioned in the following letter was 
caused by a renewal of the proposal on which Mr. Roebuck 
had long been harping : " That plans for the relief of the 
Irish poor would be unjust and impolitic unless accom- 
panied by a system of taxation of property such as was 

* Sir William P. Xapier. 

t On the secoud reading of licntinck's Irish Bailway Bill. 


' '1 




alrca<ly in fi)rco in En^^land." TIio motion was lejoctod l)y 
121 to 20 votes. 

To Mrs, Uoolnich, 

Marrk \\ 1H47. — Wi'll, I ilid iimkc a liubl>nl>, ami kept 
" Ilon'ble House" in a roar for ari hour and a half by actiii'^' 
Koveral parts. The rc'p(»rts <,mvo no ad(M|nato idea of thu scene — fi»r 
it was a scene. lint the speech as reported will tell. 

I breakfasted with iJronj^hani. He was so full of bis doinu's 
in the Lords that he for^'ot to deliver me a message from Lord 
Normanby, which f^ady Malet, however, detailed at <,M'eat 
lenj,'th, she and I beinj,' },'reat friends. She seemed pleased at 
havini,' somethinj; jileasant to tell. 

Lord John RiisseU's plan for tho education of the 
people, introduced on April 10, offended against some of 
Mr. Roebuck's strongest principles. Roman Catholics 
were, at present, to be excluded from a share in the j^rant 
of £100,000, and the Prime iMinister held that the i)ro- 
posal to make education secular was opposed to tho opinion 
of Parliament. 

To Mrs. liophuclc. 

London^ April 22, 1S47.— I spoke last ni<,dit on the Educa- 
tion scheme, and aj^ainst the (Jovernment. I will explain why 

On cominf? here T found a letter of a Jvonth old from my 
.\unt Tiekell, a lady who was very fond of me in days of old, l)nt, 
treated one of my brothers ill, therefore we were unfriends. She 
writes to ask me for my countenance to one of her nephews. 
This is Nemesis atrain. I wrote her a note, yiuldint^ at once to 
her wishes, and fjivinir my reason — my un\villini:ness to be unkind 
to a younu; man befj^inning life with but a few friends. 

Hovso of (,'oitimons, April 2:3, ls47. — The Government is 

evidently going to the . (Jrey and Pahnerston are, on dd, 

(inarrelling about Peel's doings respecting l''rance. 'J'he Factory 
Pill has divided the whole set, and the; new Education scheme has 
divided them all. Poor II. is in tits of funk; he is smarting 
under E. Gibbon Wakelield's CVdonization scheme, and says tliat 
1 am right about him. C. Puller and IL hardly as good frientla 


, i 

T- I 









• 50 







1 2.5 











(716) »72-4$03 




as before. Such a confused mass of disturbance and suspicion in 
the political world as at this moment I never knew before. All 
is topsy-turvy, and no one knows who is friend or foe. 

Ap-il 24, 1847. — Last night* was a most triumphant night 
for me. I will send you the Time,s, which will give you a faint 
notion of what took place. The fact is, that the late negotiations 
of the Ministry with the Wesleyans, conducted by Ashley as a go- 
between, were, I sincerely believe, mainly intended as a means of 
ousting me from Bath. Ashley laid the scheme, and Lord John 
and Co. were nothing loath, and they fired the mine which has 
blown up themselves. Having, then, no reason to be very well 
pleased with the Ministry, I took the occasion of stripping oflf the 
disguise which they have assumed. Every blow told. 

May 19, 1847. — In the evening I went to the House, and 
found Ferrandf in full roar against the Poor Law. Charles 
Villiers was sitting beliind me, and carried a message from me to 
George Grey, who was taking notes to answer Ferrand. My 


was, that if he would leave him to me, I would 


Ferrand a dressing. The answer came, " Only too happy ; pray 
proceed," and so indeed I did. The reports give but a pale, faint 
shadow of what was said and done. 

No dak — ahout end of Maij, 1847. — . . . Last night I re- 
peated my infliction on Ferrand, carrying the House triumphantly 
with me, and obtained the warm cheers even of the Treasury 
Bench, with Lord John leading the band. I never made so 
successful a speech, giving them a slice of what I mean by 
eloquence, not overlaid balderdash, but an attempt, at least, at a 
masculine appeal to all that was generous and true in their spirit 
at the moment. The sensation was great. A speaker, like an 
actor, feels what his audience feel ; ho is a species of thermometer, 
and my recording index marked blood-heat. I have seldom seen 
them more excited. Charles Villiers felt himself personally 
indebted to me, as I defended Lewis J against the atrocious 
charges brought by Ferrand against him, that of murder being 

* Fourth night of debate on Government plan of education. 

t Member for Knaresborough. 

X Mr. (afterwards Sir) George Comcwall Lewis (November 2, 1846) filed 
a criminal information against Mr. Ferrand for the publication of letters 
charging him with conspiracy and falsehood in connection with the Kcighley 
Union inquiry in 1842. 


< 17. ) 



Dissolution was already in the air, and Mr. Roebuck was 
destined to find that the *' ecstasies " of the people of Bath 
were by no means so favourable to him as he had supposed. 
His antagonism to the Government Education Bill had 
brought him into open conflict with the Ministry, and Lord 
John Russell had, with considerable asperity, resented the 
attacks of one who, without producing any measure of his 
own, carped and cavilled at every proposal made by others. 
In May, Lord Duncan and Mr. Roebuck attended, in Bath, 
a preliminary meeting called to consider whether the sitting 
members should be supported by the joint efforts of their 
respective friends. Several of Mr. Roebuck's former sup- 
porters declared their determination not to vote for him 
again, and there was much plain speaking. 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

Bath, May 28, 184:7. — On my arrival here I found affairs in 
pretty much the state I expected. The Ministry are evidently at 
the bottom of the row. Duncan and I arrived, and mot the 
Liberal Association ; both of us declared we should stand jointly. 
Hereupon Murch began a laboured discourse against myself. He 
went over all the six years of the Parliament, and quoted from 
his notes all my evil deeds. This I answered so completely that 
I shook him. Wilson Bro^vn also began from notes, but he let the 
cat out. I had been a censor of the Whig Administration, so he 
could not support me. So said Norman, who said he was always 
apposed to me ! Well, the upshot was that the meeting resolved, 


:i; f: i 

i fi 

, « «« ' •* •• 



witliout. a tlissentient voice, to support us both. Murch ia our 
treasurer. I treated him with tlie most civil kindness, answered 
liim without one bitter word, and with expressions of good will 
and respect. This flattered and surprised him ; he sent me a 
messa;4'e of thanks by Duncan, and expressing a wish to see me. 
I went. This annihilates so much of the plot. 

The following is a portion of the answer to the charges 
mentioned in the above letter : — 

It is a long indictment running over six years. . . . The first 
instance of absence from the House of Commons adduced * was 
in February, 1842, and just at that time the Northern Circuit 
was in full play, and I Avas compelled to be present in it. Every 
one of the instances objected to occurred at similar seasons. My 
health, too, prevented my attendance on many occasions. Those 
around me only knew what miserable sufferings I had to endure.f 
A continuntion of terrible pains made me wish when the sun 
rose that it was time it had gone down, and when it was down 
that it Avas time to rise again. He says I have an ungovernable 
temper. Now, that is not so. I can assure him I have my 
temper under control ; but if he knew in what kind of atmo- 
sphere one lives, he would then know the difficulty of making 
an impression without speaking out firmly and fully. I will go 
to the present session (1847) to give you an account of what has 
been going on round about me, while I have been defending the 
indefeasible right of the poor. While I was speaking upon the 
question of a Poor Law for Ireland, gentlemen around me were 
audible in their expressions, not only of taunts or of bitter hatred, 
but one was even heard to go so far as to threaten me with 
personal violence. In such a state of things it was necessary to 
drive home, and because those gentlemen felt it, and created an 
uproar in consequence, the reverend gentleman [Rev. J. Murch] 
now says that I lost my temper. Not so ; those gentlemen were 
noisy because I was not afraid of them. That is the secret. . . . 

I am much pained in having to refer to that great man, 
Mr. Daniel O'Counell, the news of whose death was brought by 
the same train by which I came. I call him a great man, for, 

* Mr. Cliarles Villiers' annual motion on the Com Laws, 
t From neuralgia in tlie knee. 



with all his faults, he was so, and it is with extreme ami sincere 
rej?ret that I should have to say anything which might wound 
the feelings of his already afflicted family ; and as ^Mr. O'ConncU 
has left a great name which is public property, I think T may 
refer to it now, although it will be with great compunction.* 

I do, then, believe that Mr. O'Connell, Mr. Smith O'Brien, 
and the other leaders of the Repeal Party, used language 
calculated to mislead their ignorant and unhappy countrymen ; 
that they were continually endeavouring to create and foster 
differences, divisions, and animosities between Celts and Saxous, 

* Several years earlier, Mr. Roebuck, in a speech to his constituents, had 
made some interesting remarks ns to his association with the great Irish 
demagogue. " I have stood by him with a few," he said, " when to be his 
friend was considered a political disgrace. On the first night of my speaking 
in the House of Commons, 1 raised my voice in behalf of Ireland, and after 
the close of the debate, on the floor of the House, Mr. O'Connell came up to 
me and said, ' Mr. Roebuck, I have not the honour of a personal acquaintance 
with you ; but I would now address you as a friend of the Irish people.' 
When the Coercion Bill was passed, the small body of Radicals, which was 
then in the House, opposed it in all its stages. We fought against it by 
tlie bide of Mr. O'Connell for three whole weeks. And yet he turns round 
on us now and calls us Tory Radicals. But wo will tell Mr. O'Connell that 
the English Radicals are not to be bullied into any mer.sure of which they do 
not approve." 

Speaking at Gal way (October, 1858), Mr. Roebuck said : " I began my 
political life as the friend of your great friend, Mr. O'Connell. It was my 
fate to enter Parliament as a very young man, an enthusiastic Englishman ; 
and I found myself side by side with the great friend of Ireland. I was 
o, Radical then, and I am so still, and I found O'Connell was the friend of 
the Radicals, therefore we got side by side. But there was tiiat iu O'Connell 
which we seldom find in any member of Parliament — and I must say not 
in Irish members of Parliament — ho was able to command the attention of 
the British House of Commons. He had that weight of eloquence which 
commands respect, that brilliant imagination which wins everyljody's 
applause, and when ho opened his lips, the listening Senuto hoard his 
words with admiration, if not with approbation. I was at once attached to 
O'Connell. I asked myself what was hia object — wliat ho desired to have 
for Ireland ? I found it was this : that Englishmen and Irishmen should, 
Ijeforc the law, be entirely equal, that there should be no preference for 
a man on account of his country or creed. The first subject on which I 
voted — the first matter that occupied the attention of the Reformed Parlia- 
ment — was the Irish Coercion Bill, and on that subject I voted side by side, 
as a humble militant, with O'Connell. I always voted against it, and so 
did he, and English statesmen have since learnt that the small minority 
which then opposed the measure was in the right." See also Roebuck's 
" Whig Ministry ," vol. i. p. 78, et seq. 





Catholics und Protestants, Englishmen and Irishmen ; and there 
was not anything- which they conid devise calculated to harass 
and distress the Administration which was not adopted by them. 

When Mr. Smith O'Brien came to the House of Commons, 
making his professions of sincerity for Repeal,* I did express my 
condemnation that he sliould so deceive and mislead his country- 
men. I know they did not want Repeal of the Union, for now their 
cry for it is gone ; and we are to be blamed because, foreseeing 
what would be the issue of their conduct, and having a deep and 
anxious desire for the permanent welfare of Ireland, we en- 
deavoured to expose the fallacy we knew would lead to such dire 
conclusions. What has Conciliation Hall, and all the violent 
epithets and denunciations employed by its oratoi"s, done for the 
poor peasants of Ireland ? Has any other effect been produced 
than that of weakening their means of meeting a time of famine 
by extracting from their pockets money for the support of brawling 

agitators ? Seeing what was coming, was it 


that I 

should be somewhat warm in maintaining not only the right of 
our own countrymen, but the peace and comfort of the world — 
for it must be remembered that to such a pitch of excitement had 
the Irish people been worked up, that a spark from either of 
those I referred to, when speaking in the House of Commons, 
would have set Ireland in a flame, the probable results of which 
it is impossible to estimate. Shall I, then, be condemned because 
to some ears I used strong expressions towards those who were 
living upon the earnings of the starving poor ? f 

If you could see me in the House of Commons, I should 
appear to you as cool and composed as I do now ; and yet, were 
the phrase now uttered to come to you unaccompanied by the 
connection in which it was used, you would probably say, " Here 
is another of Mr. Roebuck's violent statements." Mr. Murch 
has said the proceedings on the Irish Poor Law were like a 
boxing match ; I think the simile would have been more correct 
if he had said it was like one poor follow being worried by 
twenty. Seeing the millions of English money about to be voted 
for Ireland, I said, as I shall say again, that the conduct of the 
Irish landlords had produced a great part of the mischief, to 
remedy which that money was required. No sooner had I sat 
down, than one Irisii landlord after another got up and abused 
* June 14, 1845. t See post, p. 198, chap. xvii. 





me as I was never before abused in my life. I then told them, 
" You are angry because I have told you the truth." Am I, then, 
to be blamed because those gentlemen did not like the truth, and 
chose to make the House of Commons a bear-garden ? I called 
on the Government to adopt such measures as should compel 
those gentlemen to do their duty, and secure the permanent 
welfare of the poor of Ireland. I stood almost alone in thus 
reminding the Irish landlords of their duty. Bushels would not 
hold the letters of thanks I have received from all parts of the 
country for the course I took on the Irish question. 

In the case of Mr. Cobden, I am also charged with having 
held aloof from the Anti-Corn-Law League, from some private 
pique towards that gentleman. The real cause of my not taking 
an active part in the League was my unfitness for outdoor 
agitation. I may also mention that in one of the last conversations 
I held with Mr. Bright, Mr. Cobden's most particular friend, he 
said to me, " Can I do anything for you at Bath ? " I said, " I 
shall have a hard fight with Lord Ashley, probably ; " and he 
replied in a quick way, which some might perhaps term violent, 
for Mr. Bright, though a Friend, has a quick, startling manner, 
" Will you ? will you ? If you find it so, let me know, and we 
will do what we can for you, for we must have you in the House 
of Commons." 

With respect to the Indian War, I was decidedly opposed to 
it ; and having read every paper of authority on the subject, I 
came to the conclusion that Lord Auckland was wrong, and that 
Lord Ellenborough was right. 

To Mrs. RoehKcli-. 

June 4, 1847. — Last night I saw Parkes, who spent a long 
time in discoursing upon the wisdom of my accepting some 
place, the present object being, as he fairly acknowledged, to make 
me consent to leave Parliament. The Whigs, he says, are so 
thoroughly afraid of me that they will not consent to give me 
anything which would keep me in the House, and render me 
either independent, or enable me to build up a further reputation. 
Parkes recommended me to fix upon some lucrative post out of 
Parliament, and to ask Lord John for it. He suggested an 
Indian judgeship. He professed great friendship, but I could 
not help believing that he was charged with a mission respecting 




myself. There is a growing feeling, and one very generally 
expressed, that I have been scurvily treated. 

June 5, 1847. — After writing to you yesterday, I saw Hawes,* 
and learned what it is he wishes me to accept. It appears there 
is need of " a man of firm mind and clear head " at Guiana, in 
South America. A code has to be formed, a constitution and 
law to be established. The governor of this place is a poor old 
creature. They want me to take his place. Hawes spoke of the 
salary as large, and this, he thought, in a few years, would lead 
to independence. I positively declined. The climate is deadly, 
at least on the coast, and nothing would induce me to take you 
there. If I should be driven to accept, I should go alone, and 
trust to my luck to exist for five years. . . . Graham f scouts 
the idea. 

London^ Friday^ June 11, 1847. — There never was such a life 
of huiTy-scun*y as mine ; not one moment have I, night or day, 
free from tormenting solicitations to take care of other people's 
afifairs, the last request being from the citizens of Dublin to 
take O'Connell's place in a committee in order to protect their 
interests against jobbing and roguery. I was obliged to decline. 
The Bathwick Church occupies me all day. Railway Bills during 
the early hours of the evening, and public business the rest of the 
night. The debate on Portugal begins this evening, and will 
not finish, so that here I am kept. 

Did I tell you that I had a formal offer of a judgeship in 
India ? I refused it. Every one not immediately connected 
with the Whig Government advises me strongly to keep where 
I am. The design of getting me away is plain, and John Mills % 
said to me this morning, " They cannot, for fear of the law, cut 
your throat, which, as the shortest way of getting rid of you, 
would please them best, so they offer you an office, first in a 
deadly climate, and next try to bribe you by a show of making 
you independent." Frank Mills is really going to Bath, to aid 
in my election. 

The Tories are almost as anxious for my services as my old 
Radical friends. The two ends of the scale meet here. John 
Revans is working away to keep me in Parliament ; Frank Mills 

* Under-Secretary for the Colonies, 
t His lifelong friend, G. J. Graham. 
J Of Bisterne, brother of Frank Mills. 




and Lord Lonsdale are writing and aidinj? the same tbinjr. 
" Suicide " is the word I most frequently hear when I speak of 
retiring. Brougham raves and denonnces ; Napier warns me 
against trusting to the Whigs if they offer mo anything abroad. 

tiunday {about June 20), 1S47.— The debate o% Portugal still 
goes on, and I have had an opportunity of ruining the present 
Administration, but have preferred rendering them an important 
service. Tufnel came to me, asking what I intended to do, 
deprecating attack, and declaring his fears as to the result. The 
object was to prevent a division on Hume's motion,* and I 
undertook the office of endeavouring to perauade Hume not to 
divide. Failing, however, in this, I concocted with Buncombe 
an amendment, which he moved last night, and which I shall 
support to-night, and which will preserve the Ministry from 
defeat. Hume and a few others are angry at this ; but I am 
confident the course I have taken is the really prudent one. Had 
we rushed headlong into a division, we should, in fact, have given 
a triumph to the Bentinck party, and have gone to the elections 
ourselves divided and angry with one another. Such a state of 
things would undoubtedly have been very gratifying to the 
Tories, but to us it would have been fatal. 

Lord Duncan had an interview with Lord John Russell 
yesterday, and was assured by Lord John that everything had 
been done — and should be done — to discourage Ashley. This 
I believe to be true ; but I am still more convinced tlian ever 
that Ashley was sent to Bath by the Whigs. Lord John said, 
" I am disappointed by Ashley's speech," and gave his disappoint- 
ment as a reason for stoutly opposing him. 

London, June 22, 1847. — Lord John is very angry with me. 
On Friday last I suggested that he might save public time by 
withdrawing at once, and without further discussion, the Health 
of Towns Bill and Strutt's Railway Bill. He was then very 
angry, and attempted to revile me into silence. I consequently 
smashed his Health of Towns Bill to atoms. Yesterday he 
withdrew it, and Strutt makes a two hours' speech, occupies a 
whole evening, and ends by withdrawing his Railway Bill. 
Whereupon I remarked upon the peculiarly undignified mode of 
proceeding, and urged the withdrawal of the Irish Railway Bill. 
Hereupon Johnny talks of my asperity, blusters as to how he is 
* Censuring ministers for needlessly interfering with affairs of Portugal. 



1 82 


determined to proceed with that Bill. The report of the TimflH 
speaks of my warmth. Now, the fact was that I was so hoarse 
that I was unable to speak above a whisper, and one paper spoke 
of my indisposition. I was not angry, but satisfied at the adop- 
tion, however late, of my last week's advice, and spoke without 
the least appearance of any emotion, except, periiaps, some 

Lord Lincoln and Graham (Sir James) came to me, and 
expressed their entire concurrence with my opinion as to the 
wretched and imbecile conduct of the Ministry. It brings not 
only themselves, but their office and Parliament, which permits 
them to retain office, into contempt. 

London, Saturdaij, June 2G, 1847. — I have just time to say 
that I have arrived here from Bath, where things are looking 
very well, and our people are again in heart by my going there. 

I wish to be in the House on Monday respecting Irish rail- 
ways ; Wednesday I dine with Lord John (Russell), and on 
Thursday go again to Bath. . . . 

I met an old lady in Bath. She sent for me— Mrs. Colonel 
Lisle. She knew my mother, and was a passenger in the ship 
that brought my mother and her three children — myself among 
the number — home from Madras. 

The old lady— eighty-four — remembered their names, and 
called Henry, Warrenue — as he was then called — and spoke of Ben 
Riot, and Johnny Quiet — two names that, as far as the world 
goes, have been somewhat reversed. 

London, Jul 1/ 4, 18i7. — . . . The Lords have in their wisdom 
thrown out the clause which we [the Commons] put into the 
Poor Law respecting aged couples above sixty being allowed to 
be together in the poor-house. This would enable me again to 
shelter Lord John's Administration, but I suppose my hands are 
tied. The devil tempts me, nevertheless ; and if George Bentinck 
was worth a farthing, one might lend a hand to give the existing 
men a lift. 

There is a report (Marcus Hill was my informant) that 
Ashley went to Lord John and asked if the Government really 
supported me. The answer of Lord John was, " Certainly ; we 
are all against you, Ashley. We have great respect for you, but 
we must support with our whole strength Roebuck and Duncan." 

: l| 



J. A, Roihmk lo Ihe Ilcv. I). WambU {Bath). 

While Hurl, Jul if 2, 1847. — I beg to ackuowlcdtro tlic receipt 
of your letter addressed to Lord Duncan and myself, and proceed 
at once to answer the (im'rics it contains as completely as I can 
in the conlined space of this letter. 

1. I have always resisted every attempt in the House of 
(Commons to apju'opriate the public money in aid of aiiy peculiar 
religious opinions, and have invariably endeavoured to render all 
men equal before the law, without any regard to the religious 
opinions they might entertain. It ought, however, to be recol- 
lected that the system and genius — if I may use the word — of our 
legislation has never been of this strict and undeviating descrip- 
tion. In every quarter of the globe, English money and influence 
have been employed to disseminate Christian, and generally 
Church of England, doctrines ; and in India, at this moment, we 
have taxation for the purpose, in some degree, of maintaining the 
priesthood and temples of the Hindoo and Mohammedan people 
under our sway. 

In Ireland avc have Maynootli and the Regium Donum, 
together with a regular Established Church. In England we have 
an Established Church ; we have National and Foreign School 
Societies ; we have money voted for the printing of the Scriptures : 
— in short, in a thousand forms, both at home and in the colonies, 
we have money voted for direct and indirect religious purposes ; 
and I sincerely believe that a very large majority of the think- 
ing men of our people would not consent to our ])ursuing 
strictly the rule which, in my conscience, nevertheless, I believe 
the most wise and beneficent. And I cannot help thinking that 
the sudden heat, and the general doctrines that have been pro- 
mulgated of late on the part of certain of our Dissenting brethren, 
have their origin rather in a confined consideration of one par- 
ticular event than in a careful and comprehensive view of all the 
many consequences fairly deducible from the principles which 
they have somewhat peremptorily enunciated. A purely secular 
system of legislation would not, in my opinion, find favour with 
the religious people of this country, and yet the complete non- 
interference suggested by your questions, and advocated by the 
Nonconformists, means a purely secular legislation. 

2. On the subject of the State Church, my opinion has ever 




H' J 



been openly expressed. I do not consider such un cstiiblishment, 
in the prosi-nt divided state of men's opinions, either jnst or 
politic. But I am not prepared at once, and withont fnrther 
ado, to propose the utter subversion of this (,'hurcli as by law 
established. The majority of the people wish it to be maintained. 
That majority must be led, they eamiot J)e coerced ; and I am 
prepared, at all proper times and seasons, to support my principles 
by sober and temperate argument, and to endeavour, by all legiti- 
mate means, to win favour and suppoit for my opinions ; but I 
cannot unite with those whom I hear denouncing their opponents 
as infidels and enemies of religion because they happen to adopt 
an opinion differing from my own. I allude to a manifesto 
lately issued by the Nonconformist body, in which I was sorry to 
perceive what I believe to be a good and true principle much 
injured by what, in my humble judgment, appeared very like 

The complete sweep which you propose as regards the Estab- 
lished Church, you must perceive, is, in fact, nothing short of a 
very violent revolution in our whole political system ; and I 
confess that the tranciuillity of this great country, and with it 
the tranquillity of the whole world, is, in my judgment, of such 
paramount importance that I should tremble were I called upon 
to put it in hazard by that immediate and violent change which 
you contemplate. All that is really oppressive may, and I believe 
will, be soon reformed. The Church rates cannot last much 
longer ; ecclesiastical dominion, as exercised by ecclesiastical 
courts, will soon, I hope, be put an end to ; political and civil 
disabilities of every description, resulting from religious pro- 
fessions, must cease ; and we shall then enjoy a real practical 
equality. And I do believe that no right-minded man need 
repine at the forms which may remain when all the substance 
of irregularity has been removed and destroyed. 

One word as to education, and then I have answered, I 
believe, everything which your queries propound. I differ from 
those who think that the State has no concern, and ought to take 
no part, in the education of the people. On the contrary, I 
think the first, the chief duty of the State is to prevent evil ; that 
punishment is but a rude and inefficacious means of attaining 
that end ; but that education is the k jst legitimate and the 
most efficient of the means which human wisdom can employ to 




promote virtue and liivppiiicss. So l)cliovinir, I shall certainly 
support every plun for the ediuiation of the people by the State, 
which does not interfere with the reiif,'ious feelin.f^s and opinions 
of the ])ftrents and puardiiins of the children to be educated. If 
the State can — and I believe it can — instruct the people without 
oirendini? or injurint? them, it is, in my opinion, its boundeu 
duty to do so. And every measure which legitimately attempts 
to attain this most worthy end shall have my most strenuous and 
hearty support. 

To Mix. Rorhurk. 

Early in Juh/, 1847. — I go to Bath to-morrow. The papei*s 
arc full of my contest there. I travelled up with four women, 
and one, a very prettj girl, would tread upon my toes. How 
is it that these things happen when I am growing old, and, as 
the French say, tren sarje ? 

The contest at Bath was chaio'^^'^rizod by all the fierce- 
ness and acrimony that had attended ' ! r. Roebuck's previous 
electoral struggles. Feeling on both sides was at lever heat, 
and all manner of accusations ^ere I'l eely ^ luiidied about. 
Lord Ashley and his suppliers were ojienly charged with 
exercising various forms of terroiisM, while the favourite 
cry of the Tories against Mr. Roebuck imputed to him 
infidelity, atheism, and contempt for religion. The bills 
circulated bearing these charges were so scandaloiT'" that, 
on the hustings at the nomination, jVlr. Roebuck openly 
refused to shake hands with Lord Ashley. But more 
serious than the scurrilities of opponents was the alienation 
of many of Mr. Roebuck's former supporters. Departing 
from the rule he had laid down in his earlier contests to 
abjure personal canvassing, Mr. Roebuck made systematic 
visits to the electors, and the unfavourable reception he 
met with at the hands of the Rev. William Jay and other 
prominent Dissenters quickly became public property. To 
their dissatisfaction with much of his Parliamentary career 
was added remembrance of references disrespectful to 
Dr. Watts's " Second Catechism," made in the article on 





Children's Books in Tait's Magazine, as far back as 1833. 
The Rev. Jerome Murch, Unitarian Minister, whose oppo- 
sition, as we have seen, Mr. Roebuck thought he had 
effectually countered after the meeting in May, was so 
actii 8 an opponent that he, like Mr. Jay, was singled out 
for personal notice by Mr. Roebuck in the speech in which, 
after the result of the poll was known, he castigated his 
antagonists and shook the dust of Bath for ever from his 
feet. For, notwithstanding the fact that throughout the 
campaign, and on the hustings, Mr. Roebuck had been the 
favourite of an enthusiastic populace, the poll had resulted 
thus : Lord Ashley, 1278 ; Lord Duncan, 1228 ; Mr. Roebuck, 

Contrary to the advice of his friends, Mr. Roebuck 
insisted on addressing the excited crowds immediately 
after the voting had closed. Accustomed at all times to 
say exactly what he thought in the most pungent language 
at his command, the emotions of this moment found 
expression in a very hearty scolding of the authors of his 
defeat. At the nomination, all his denunciations had been 
poured upon Lord Ashley and the Tories. Now the vials 
of his wrath were emptied on the heads of alienated friends. 
Rejecting a suggestion from the crowd that he had been 
defeated by bribery, he said. No, it was not bribery, it was 
bigotry. The three persons who contributed to his defeat 
were a Whig (Mr. Norman), a Dissenter (the Rev. Jerome 
Murch), and a Waiter on Providence (Mr. Wilson Brown). 
He also singled out the Rev. William Jay for individual 
reference. He continued — 

And now, then, gentlemen, I bid you adieu. Again I shall 
not appear here. There are many constituencies that will ask, 
demand, require, such a representative as I am ; and they who, 
after fifteen years' service, have rejected me, in their hearts let 
there be the shame and the scandal which will be redeemed by 
others who will ask me to appear in the House of Commons. 
But, gentlemen, I have no ambition to be there. I want not to 







appear in tlie House of Commons. My only hope is quiet ; my 
desire is literary ease ; my pleasure is my family ; my hope is 
content and quiet. If I would li<flit your battle, it is the battle 
of freedom that I would fight for you — for all of you to be secure 
at home ; to be in your families that which you would desire — 
fathers to guide, to direct, and to be the friends of that family 
without pain or suffering abroad. That I am not permitted to 
be. But I shall go a member of the Church of England — mind 
you, Dissenters, a member of the Church of England — remem- 
bering well that the Dissenters are not worthy of freedom. Now, 
as I never wish, as I never will, no matter what may tempt me, 
come down and beiiold that Abbey more, I care not what these 
men may say. I am here a free man, thank God, once again. 
No religious bigotry binds my tongue, no influence coerces my 
heart. The people of England are those of whom I think — self 
is annihilated in the balance. But when I behold religious 
intolerance, bound up with the selfishness of personal considera- 
tion, I will mark that with the finger of scorn ; and I tell you, 
once for all, your liberties as a town are beaten underfoot. And 
whom have we to thank ? The Dissenters of Bath. I have sup- 
ported them on every occasion, and now, under the pretence of 
religious feeling, they have sought a sharp-seeking " considera- 
tion." * Well, then, it is for me — and you can well understand 
the sensation of my heart when I look around me — to say that 
word which is most painful to all, Farewell. As that sun shines 
and dazzles my eyes at this moment, no earthly consideration 
shall ever induce me again to solicit the votes of the people of 
Bath. When I have won for you the suffrage, my non-elector 
friends, then I will venture here. But the Dissentei'S of England, 
as represented by the Dissenters of Bath, are such cowards at 
heart that they are unworthy of an honest man as a representative 
unless supported by the non-electors of this town ; and when I 
have that body, I shall appeal to you, or any body of electors, and 
be sure of a triumphant return. Such pitiful, shameful, wretched, 
miserable humbug I never met with in my life. I have done 
with them for my life henceforth. Never again will I venture 
my boat upon the water to be blown about by the breath of 
Dissenters. Henceforth I am for the people, the unrepresented 
electors of England ; on them I will depend, and upon no section, 
* This is the phrase in the newspaper report. 

■r li 








whatever that may be, will I, in any degree, base my fortune. 
This is the careful consideration of everything I have undergone 
for many years past. I hope for ease and peace in the bosom of 
my most cherished family. I wish not for political contention or 
party strife. I would rather see my wheat grow, even than see 
your faces. I would rather garner up the proceeds of the God 
of Nature, even than get your approval. The time may come 
that they who have now repudiated me may wish me here. They 
shall never have me, and I do say an eternal farewell. 

In a written address, Mr. Roebuck took leave of his old 
constituents in more temperate terms, and his friends in 
Bath subsequently marked their appreciation of his fifteen 
years' service by presenting a testimonial to him. This 
consisted of £500, placed in an oak cabinet covered viritli 
carved emblems and figures, each one of which was 
executed by a separate workman. A pretty salver in 
silver was given by the wives and daughters of the Liberal 
electors of Lyncombe and Widcombe, and a work-box in 
inlaid woods — also a production of Bath — from the Ward 
of St. James, was given to his little daughter. 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

Novemher 0, 1847. — My reception at Bath was the most 
striking thing I ever witnessed, but this I must describe by word 
of mouth. 

Lord Ashley, afterwards Lord Shaftesbury, the suc- 
cessful candidate in this election, years after, at Sheffield, 
said how much he regretted that he had ever opposed 
Mr. Roebuck at Bath. 

( 189 ) 



; I 



The conflicts in which Mr. Roebuck's directness of att^'jk 
and pungency of speech involved him were not b^ any 
means confined to words. At the commencemcut of his 
career duelling, though gradually dying out, was not yet 
dead, and Mr. Roebuck had in large measure that courage 
and readiness to appeal to muscular force which are not 
infrequently characteristic of men physically slight and 
even feeble. It has already been related how, after his 
first election, he resented impertinence hy striking the 
offender, and he was a little apt to counsel a resort to 
blows, or to horse-whipping editors. Departing from the 
chronological arrangement otherwise observed in this book, 
it may be convenient to devote one chapter to an account 
of Mr. Roebuck's duelling experiences. The following 
narration is by Mr. John Temple Leader, who, describing 
the gatherings at his house at Putney Hill, writes— 

John Temple Leader to the Editor. 

One evening, as we were sitting in the library, enjoying the 
pleasant warmth of a cheerful wood fire, and talking of things in 
general, some one mentioned a scene in which Daniel O'Connell 
had used very strong language to a Tory ^I.P in the lobby 
of the House of Conunons. Turning to Roebuck, he asked, 
" What would you have done in f- '\ a case ? " " I would have 
knocked him down," answered Roei c, fiercely, and clenching his 
fist. This made us all laugh, considering the great physical 

ii; ;l 



a -ill 



difference between Roebuck, who was a small spare man, and 
O'Connell, who Avas a stalwart Irish giant. 

In the third Pamphlet for the People (1835), Mr. 
Roebuck discussed '• The Stamped Press and its Morality " 
with much directness of personal reference to the con- 
ductors of the Times, the Morning Chronicle, the Examiner, 
and the Public Ledger. This quickly resulted in visits 
from friends of Mr. Albany Fonblanque of the Examiner, 
and Mr. Sterling of the Times. They were commissioned 
to demand immediate withdrawal. Sir William Moles- 
worth acted for Mr. Roebuck in both cases. Hostile meet- 
ings were averted by disavowals, retractions, and regrets, 
which Sir Francis Knowles for Mr. Fonblanque, and Col. 
Campbell for Mr. Sterling, accepted as satisfactory. The 
other editors, Mr. Black and Mr. J. L. Stevens, contented 
themselves with pen-and-ink rejoinders. With Mr. Black, 
however, Mr. Roebuck was destined, a few months later, 
to come into more warlike collision. 

The Morning Chronicle had dragged into a controversy 
with Mr. N. Goldsmid a taunt that he was a Conservative 
Jew. Mr. Roebuck, in the Pamphlet for the People, 
issued on November 11, 1835, stigmatized this as brutal. 
To make the ignorant, the prejudiced, and the vulgar join 
in the cry against Goldsmid was, he wrote, base and 
utterly disgraceful, and, if Mr. Black had any shame left, 
was a proceeding of which he must heartily repent. 

In discussing the remedies within Mr. Goldsmid's reach, 
Mr. Roebuck specified, among others, two. He could beat 
his assailant and drub him soundly, or he could call him 
out and endeavour to shoot him. These alternatives were 
dismissed with the remark — 

It is evident that Mr. Goldsmid has little chance of saving 
anything by trying to beat the said John Black, he being a 
strong, lusty, hard-headed, and hard-fisted north-countryman, and 
Mr. Goldsmid being a slender and by no means strong pereon. 
In the second place, the said John Black is a philosopher, and 













I feel confident that to fi<?ht duels for the Chronicle is uot in his 
bond ; and I suspect the proprietor has not hired u regular 
fighting man for the concern. 

Mr. Roebuck was undeceived as to Mr. Black's fighting 
propensities, for he received a letter, dated 232, Strand. 
November 13, 1835, in which, discovering an imputation 
of cowardice in the Pamphlet, and objecting to the epithets 
" base " and " utterly disgraceful," Mr. Black said — 

I wish to know whether you are the author of the article 
containing these offensive epithets ; and if you are, I then call 
on you to retract them mthout qualification or reserve. My 
friend who delivers this will convey to me your answer. 

As Mr. Roebuck was then staying at the seaside, near 
Christchurch, Mr. Simon McGillivray, one of the pro- 
prietors of the Morning Chronicle, the friend entrusted 
with this message, wrote, asking to be informed " when 
and where you can afford me the opportunity of delivering 
personally the communication with which I am intrusted." 

J. A. Roebuck to Mr. McGillivray. 

Christchurch, Hants, Novemher 15, 1835. — I am now staying 
at Mudeford, near Christchurch, Hants. This letter will reach 
you to-morrow morning. You will probably leave London on 
Monday evening, and arrive here on Tuesday morning at twelve. 
I will at that time be at the Humby's Hotel, Christchurch. I 
make these arrangements, as I am desirous of so managing affairs 
as not to let any one have an idea of the purport of your visit, 
which I suppose, from your letter, to be a hostile one. 

A narrative of the affair, subsequently published, says — 

In compliance with the appointment, Mr. Black and Mr. 
McGillivray proceeded to Christchurch, where they arrived on 
Tuesday morning ; and at an interview at the King's Arms Hotel, 
Mr. McGillivray delivered Mr. Black's letter to Mr. Roebuck, who 
acknowledged himself to be the author of the article complained 
of, and refused to retract any part of it. He proposed also to 
write to London for a friend to act for him. Mr. McGillivray 

\ \ 





objected to this delay, and said that as Mr. Roebuck had recog- 
nized his letter to be a hostile one, he expected to have found 
him more prepared. Mr. Roebuck replied that the delay was 
Mr. McGillivray's own fault, in not having communicated more 
clearly the object of his mission ; and he declined either coming to 
London or appointing a friend on the spot, both of which plans 
had been suggested by Mr. McGillivray. In short, Mr. Roebuck 
refused any other alternative than to write to London for a friend, 
and to meet again at the same place on Thursday at noon ; and 
finally Mr, McGillivray acquiesced in this proposal. On Thursday, 
the 19th, Mr. Black and Mr. McGillivray accordingly returned 
to Christchurch, when Mr. Roebuck introduced Mr. S. Revans ''•■ 
to McGillivray as his friend, and after some discussion and 
preliminary arrangements, a meeting took place. 

The seconds afterwards each published his own version 
of what had actually happened. They agreed that Mr. 
Revans, on behalf of Mr. Roebuck, admitted an error of 
detail in his Pamphlet, and disavowed any intention to 
impute cowardice to Mr. Black, as he really considered 
him a philosopher, and as such would, of course, not fight. 
But he absolutely refused to retract the words " base and 
utterly disgraceful." Upon that ground the gentlemen 
went into the field, to which Mr. Roebuck showed the 

Mr. Roebuck received Mr. Black's fire, and fired, so 
Mr. Revans declared, in the air. Mr. McGillivray, though 
declining to confirm this, did not contradict it beyond 
saying that both shots were fired simultaneously. 

After the first fire Mr. Roebuck repeated that he had 
no intention of imputing cowardice to Mr. Black, but he 
persisted in refusing to withdraw the terms "base and 
disgraceful," which he maintained the conduct objected to 

* Mr. Revans was a barrister who, after emigrating with Mr. H. S. 
Chapman to Montreal in 1833, returned to Loudon in 1837. He was secretary 
to the Wakefield scheme for settlement in New Zealand. He afterwards 
lived in New Zealand. Sec "Dietionary of National Biograpliy." John 
Bevans, his brother (p. 180), was connected with the English and Irish Poor 
Law Commissions. 




deserved. Mr. McGillivray accordingly said the affair must 
go on. Shots were again exchanged without effect. An 
apology was again demanded, and again refused. Mr. 
Revans declared that they were there with their minds 
made up, and that, if Mr. McGillivray desired, the affair 
must continue. Then followed an altercation in which 
Mr. McGillivray, showing disposition to take the quarrel 
upon himself, was told that if he wanted to fight, he must 
fight with Mr. Revans, who was quite ready ; and Mr. 
Roebuck declared that he was not to be driven from the 
right of stigmatizing the conduct of a public man as it 
deserved by threats of assassination. Thereupon Mr. 
McGillivray found it unnecessary to carry the matter any 
further. Upon which Mr. Roebuck "expressed his high 
respect for Mr. Black," though still asserting the right to 
speak of his acts as he had done. 

Mr. Roebuck's precautions for keeping the matter from 
the knowledge of his family were not so successful as he 
had wished. Mrs. Roebuck once wrote — 

I i 

!; I 



H. S. 





I remember it but too well. We had been some weeks at 
the seaside near Christchurch, Hants. I missed Roebuck, and 
a short time after heard four shots. As persons were forbidden 
to shoot near the house, I remarked that they were two and two, 
and sounded differently and sharp, unlike a gun. The mystery 
was explained when our friend rushed in, saying, " Roebuck is 
safe." Explanation followed. Dr. Black had pointed his pistol 
at Roebuck and fired twice. Twice had Roebuck fired in the air. 

Mrs. Roebuck was accustomed to tell how, when Mr. 
Black and Mr. McGillivray arrived at the inn at Christ- 
church, they paraded their pistol-case open on the table 
of the sitting-room. No magistrate lived at Christchurch, 
so, said she, they were not likely to be taken up, however 
much they wished it. 

Mr. Roebuck's second duel was fought in 1839. His 
antagonist was Lord Powerscourt, who thought himself 





aggrieved by expressions used by Mr. Roebuck respecting 
his conduct at the election of 1837. The Hon. Henry 
Fitzroy, M.P., was the bearer of Lord Powerscourt's 
challenge, which came at a very painful moment, the 
Rev. Dr. Falconer having died somewhat suddenly in the 
presence of his son-in-law only a few hours before. 

After a necessary delay, and as Mr. Roebuck cate- 
gorically reiterated his statements — which charged Lord 
Powerscourt with the hypocrisy of sanctioning accusations 
of irreligion against his opponent, while, at the same 
time, he was sanctioning the corruption of the electorate 
with drink — a meeting took place at Coombe Wood, near 
London. Mr. Roebuck, who had been supported by Sir 
William Napier's advice, had Mr. Edward Trelawny as his 
second. The following official account was published by 
him and Mr. Fitzroy : — 

4, Fidiwi Hill, Feh-ucmj 28, 1830.— On the evcnin,"; of the 
28th, Lord Powerscourt, M.P., and Mr. Roebuck met by appoint- 
ment at Coombe Wood, seven miles from Town ; the former 
accompanied by the Hon. H. Fitzroy, M.P., and the latter by 
E. Trelawny, Esq. On the ground, efforts were renewed to 
avert the necessity of proceeding to extremities. Lord Powers- 
court's friend insisting on Mr. Roebuck retracting or apologizing 
for the words complained of in the correspondence, and the 
opposite party declining to do so, the ground was then measured 
and the principals placed at twelve paces. On Mr. Roebuck 
receiving his adversary's fire, he discharged his pistol into the 
air, and, advancing to Lord Powerscourt, said, " Now, my lord, 
I am ready to make any apology your lordship may suggest, for 
certainly in my speech at Bath I did not mean to imply anything 
personally offensive." All parties being entirely satisfied by this 
frank procedure of Mr. Roebuck, returned to Town. 

After this, two memorials from his Tory constituents 
were sent to Lord Powerscourt, rebuking him for the part 
he had taken. One was from the clergy of the city of 
Bath. His lordship, who had undoubtedly been egged on 









by others against his own better judgment, pleaded his 
deficiency in " that exalted moral courage which could 
alone have enabled him to despise the scott's of the world 
and the sneers of his associates " if he had not vindicated 

It is but just to the memory of Lord Powerscourt to 

record that he heartily regretted the part he had taken in 

this affair; and years afterwards, when on his death-bed, 

he sent Lord Jocelyn to ask for Mr. Roebuck's pardon and 


While ever quite prepared to vindicate his conduct, 
Mr. Roebuck always showed himself watchfully jealous 
against all attempts — then of frequent occurrence — to 
supplement the rules of the House of Commons for ensuring 
decency of debate, by calling upon members to justify 
outside, at the mouth of a pistol, expressions used within. 
Although things had largely changed since 1798, when 
the Speaker, instead of intervening to prevent a duel 
between Mr. Pitt and Mr. Tierney, went down to Putney 
to see it fought, challenges from member to member were 
rife. Mr. Roebuck was largely instrumental in arousing 
the House to a sense of the gravity of this breach of 
privilege. Even so great a Parliamentarian as Sir Robert 
Peel had shown himself not superior to the pervading 
disposition to reply to inside words by outside threats. 
When he wrote to Mr. Hume, calling him to account 
for language used in debate, as impugning his honour, it 
was Mr. Roebuck who read the minister's letter in the 
House, and proposed to move that it was a breach of 
privilege for the Chancellor of the Exchequer to call out 
the member for Middlesex. 

In May, 1842, " The National Convention " sitting in 
Bolt Court, Fleet Street, had sent a deputation to Mr. 
Roebuck in the lobby, demanding to know whether in his 
assertion that the National Petition " had been drawn up 
by a cowardly and malignant demagogue " he referred to 

i ! 

; ■■ ^ 

' I 



i, i 

^ '. 



• ■• r 



!>' * 
it •: 




Mr. Feargus O'Connor ? Mr. Roebuck replied that he made 
it a rule never to give any explanation of words used by 
hira in the House of Commons. Nor did an attempt to 
get an explanation in the House meet with more success. 
It was recorded that Mr. O'Connor, resolved upon deeds 
of blood, lay in wait for Mr. Roebuck, " with a view of 
provoking that satisfaction which one gentleman expects 
of another." But not meeting with him, the affair ended 
in nothing worse than valorous vauntings. 

There was an episode in Parliament, in 1844, with 
almost whimsical developments as to Mr. Roebuck. The 
well-known Mr. Ferrand (Knaresborough),* in his violent 
opposition to Sir James Graham's Factory legislation, had, 
at a meeting at Leeds, charged the Home Secretary with 
having used his power as a minister to induce an assistant 
poor-law commissioner to make a false report for the 
purpose of crushing him (Mr. Ferrand). Sir James 
Graham, treating the matter with just contempt, took no 
steps, but Mr. Roebuck brought Mr. Ferrand's charge under 
the notice of the House.f He peremptorily called upon 
that honourable member to state distinctly to the House 
to what minister and to what member he referred. This 
was the introduction to a series of not very edifying 
scenes, in which much time was taken up at several sittings 
in mutual recriminations. 

"The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out 
water." For when, goaded by Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Ferrand 
not only refused to retract the charges he had made out- 
side, but deliberately repeated them in the House, Sir 
James Graham could no longer hold aloof. And then 

* Sec ante, chap. xv. p. 174. 

t Interveutions of this kind, and in such matters as the corrupt with- 
drawal of petitions in 1842 ; the Crimean War, 18.55 ; and Mr. Butt's case, 
1858 ; gave rise to the feeling, expressed in Einglake's sneer (" Invasion of 
tlie Crimea," vol. vi. p. 358), that Roebuck " appointed himself to the office 
of public accuser." But they do not justify Kinglake's exaggeration that 
he " clung so fondly to his chosen task as to be rarely engaged in any other." 




another member, Mr. Hogg, of Beverley, was dragged in. 
For, following up Mr. Roebuck, Mr. Hume and Mr. H. G. 
Ward volunteered information that Mr. Ferrand had 
further charged the Home Secretary with having cor- 
ruptly influenced Mr. Hogg, who had sat as chairman of 
the Nottingham election committee, to make a false report 
for the purpose of unseating Mr. John Walter, through 
resentment at his attitude towards the new Poor Law. 

The House could not overlook this, and steps were 
taken for bringing Mr. Ferrand to book. He found 
defenders in Mr. Disraeli and Lord John Manners, both 
of whom not obscurely urged that the dispute was a 
private quarrel which ought to have been matter for 
" gentlemanly arrangement " outside. By these and others 
strong attacks were made upon Mr. Roebuck for what 
was called his mischief-making in interfering in an aflair 
which did not concern him. The member for Canterbury, 
Mr. Smythe,* especially attacked Mr. Roebuck with great 
bitterness. He declared — 

From an intimate observation and study of the hon. and 
learned <^entleinan's (Mr. Roebuck's) political career ... I am not 
to be deceived by the mock severities of spurious patriotism ; that 
assentation {hIc) which masks itself beneath the guise of cynicism, 
assailing all men but sparing one man; aspersing all men, but 
fawning upon one man ; continually inferring that were one 
fiot the Diogenes of Bath, one would wish to be the Alexander of 
Tamworth. . . . The honourable and learned member for Bath 
presents a remarkable antithesis in his own person, being at once 
the rebels' agent and the Queen's counsel — the champion of 
M. Papineau, and the defender of a Secretary of State. 

It is difficult to find in the rejoinder this provoked 
anything very wounding to Mr. Smythe's honour. Mr. 
Roebuck, professing himself ingenuously surprised at the 
invectives hurled at him, and at the attempt to force him 
into the position of an offender put upon his defence, said 
* Afterwards Lord Strangford. 


1 98 


the accusations made against him must come from a more 
formidable quarter before he would answer them. And he 
added — 

When tlic honourable member for Canterbury speaks of being 
rewarded by one's cneinies, may I ask, Has he forgot what it 
is to be disappointed by one's friends ? Disappointment may 
have poisoned the arrows shot against friends ; it cannot have 
poisoned those shot against enemies. 

The sting of this allusion lay in the fact that Mr. 
Smythe had, in the previous year, found it necessary, in 
explaining to his constituents some vote, to assert that, 
never having asked any favour of Sir Robert Peel's 
Government, he was acting on conviction, not through 
disappointment, in voting against it. Mr. Smythe imme- 
diately construed Mr. Roebuck's remark as a charge of 
violating honour and integrity by voting, under disap- 
pointment, contrary to his convictions. And, not content 
with an emphatic denial of the imputation immediately 
it was made, he acted on the counsel given by Mr. Disraeli 
and Lord John Manners to Mr. Ferrand (for which 
" direful and barbarous " advice they were severely taken 
to task by Mr. Roebuck). The member for Bath accord- 
ingly found himself waited on by one Captain Darrell, 
bearing a defiant cartel. Mr. Roebuck forthwith pro- 
ceeded to the House, and brought the challenge under its 
notice. Mr. Smythe's letter was read by the clerk at the 
table. The member for Canterbury, after some wriggling, 
was compelled to make a full and unreserved apology to 
the House, and to give assurance that the matter should 
proceed no further. 

When, in January, 1845, the friends of Mr. William 
Smith O'Brien sought to stop freedom of speech in Parlia- 
ment by means of the absurd custom of requiring a man 
to stand up and be shot at for what he had said in 
debate, Mr. Roebuck took the best means of discouraging 




further similar proceedings by bringing before the House, 
as a breach of privilege, a challenge he had received from 
Mr. Somers, member for Sligo. The matter ended by 
Mr. Somers unequivocally apologizing both to the House 
and to Mr. Roebuck. 

In 1849, after a violent scene with a group of Irish 
members, Mr. Roebuck was the recipient of a hostile 
message from Mr. Fox, member for Longford ; but by the 
judicious intervention of Captain Berkeley, the resort to 
pistols was averted.* 

* Seo po«f, p. 228. 



. . i 












Excluded from Parliament, Mr. Roebuck retired to his 
farm and his books — to the literary quiet and the domestic 
ease for which he had yearned. It appears that he had 
contemplated writing a " History of the Reformation." The 
work was, indeed, announced, and partly printed but never 
published. He completed and brought out "The Colonies 
of England," but his thoughts chiefly turned to the fulfil- 
ment of his long-cherished desire of writing a " History of 
the Whig Ministry of the Reform Era." Upon his historic 
labours, however, vacant constituencies constantly intruded, 
and it is evident that, notwithstanding his farewell words 
to the electors of Bath, and though he tried to persuade 
himself to the contrary, his heart was still in the House 
of Commons, clamorous to be back in the turmoil of 
politics. Mrs. Roebuck, at least, was under no delusion 
on this point — 

J/y.s'. Roehuclc to Dr. R. Black. 

Ashley Arneivood, Kovemhei; 1847. — I hope Roebuck may 
be in Parliameut when the deurly beloved Ministry become well 
uware of the loss they have sustained in R. A more sensible set 
of men would have petted him. Roebuck tries hard to per- 
suade himself that he likes farming. I doubt ; he really likes 
politics best. Success is of more value to his health than air. 
He is really spiritual, and could I only see him in Parliament, and 
in oflfico, I should die happy. 





J. A. Roeliiirk to Dr. R. JjlacJc. 


As/lie// Aniewuod, Novemhpr i4, 1S47. — ... I cannot, must 
not, spend money. Debt fri<,'hte!is mc. I would starve, and be 
all my life out of Parliament in preference to putting myself into 
the slavery of constant debt. I am now really working hard 
to put this place into paying order, which I shall accomplish. 
]Jut Parliamentary expenses I cannot provide for just now ; and 
if Finsbury cannot be won without my spending money, I will 
not attempt to win it. The labom-er is worthy of his hire, and 
I have laboured long enough for the public. They know 
wiiat I am good for ; if they want me, they must elect mc for 
nothing. . . . 

At the beginning of 1848, Mr. Roebuck was back in 
Brussels, engaged again, on behalf of Mr. Francis Mills 
and others, in forwarding such projects as had taken him 
there in 1845-46. In addition to these matters, there are 
in his letters references to that scheme for cutting a canal 
through the Isthmus of Panama, which M. de Lesseps 
afterwards took up with disastrous results. This design 
greatly attracted the fancy of King Leopold ; and Lord 
Palmerston, when the matter was brought before him by 
Mr. Roebuck, seems to have given it an encouragement 
which he systematically refused to the Suez Canal 

To Jlrs. Uochnck. 

Jj/ussels, January 17, 1848. — A dream of politics, which has 
long haunted me, may be made indeed a reality. . . . You can 
easily guess to what the scheme relates, when I tell you it is the 
one great scheme of Avhich I have often talked, by which to give 
England the command of the two great seas of the earth — 

Jaaaarij 18. — I suspect you laughed at my mysterious epistle 
of yesterday, and so do I to-day. The truth is, that the scheme 
is really a great one, and I am sm-e might be, and one day 
will be, executed ; but whether by England remains to be seen. 
The scheme for Panama I shall show to Pahnerstou. The scheme 




m m iv n-am 



: i 

; I 

Avas communicated to the King of the Belgians, who liked the 
plan much, and said, "Ah, Mr. Roebuck, if I was a jjosifictt 
monarch, the thing might be done." 

Anything more frinfe than this town, you never knew. The 
Court is in mourning for Madame Adelaide, and the Chamber has 
been adjourned till to-day, so that even the ordinary gaiety and 
interest are wanting. It has never ceased to freeze since I have 
been here. The snow has covered the ground the whole time, 
and a coiJ fog obscures everything ; yet the people here con- 
stantly talk of our miserable climate, and evidently give me 
no credence when I declare that England, as I know it, is a far 
better climate than theirs. I am miserably tired of this idle 
life, and long for to-morrow evening, when I leave this place. 

London, Januarij 31, 1848. — I saw Palmerston yesterday, and 
found him ready to do all T wished. My plans coincided with his 
own. Whether Mills [Francis Mills] can now get monied men 
to join the scheme remains to be seen. ]\Iy part is successfully 
brought up to the point at which he must begin to act ; but 
though the project is a great one, yet, in these times of panic, 
everything is regarded with dread. Still, the inherent goodness 
of the proposal may induce some far-seeing men to act ; and, 
a beginning made, I have no fear of the result. 

January 31, 1848. — . . . Fearon and company f'-e somewhat 
of mere profossorti. I was told that they were about to be very 
complimentary and grateful. Not one word, however, has yet 
been sent, and I shall leave London without knowing anything 
of their estimation of my proceedings. The completion of the 
business they will find difficult. You recollect the Dender Valley 
affair. They sent £40,000 to Belgium as caution-money, got 
themselves into a scrape, and came to me. I so arranged their 
affairs as to make it quite possible to carry out their scheme, but 
being obliged to return to England, could not actually finish the 
negotiation. When I came here they grumbled and tried to shirk 
paying me, not because they had any reason to complain of what 
I had done — they had expressed their warmest thanks — but they 
grudged a few pounds. I told Murray that they would rue 
their parsimony, and so they have. Not one step did they 
make beyond the point to which I had brought them, and to this 
hour their £40,000 lie in the hands of the Government. The 
railway has not in any A\ay proceeded, and thus the whole scheme 




has been blown up, and tlieir money confiscated. So much for 
this instance of niggardliness. I suspect the present will be like 
that case. Everything now appears so smiling and smooth that 
they will fancy my services no longer needed. I shall hear no 
more, and the whole of the negotiations will linger, and be at 
length a mass of confusion, and end in nothing. In the mean 
time, I hope my oats will be sown, my barley in the ground, and 
my mangel-wurzel in fine order. What a month I have passed ! 
I ought to be well paid. 

To Dr. R. Blaclc. 

Ashley Arnewooil, April 10, 1848. — . . . Just now I am 
busy with my sowing — I have no time. ]\Iy days are passed 
in the field, my nights, writing steadily my history ; * and sleep 
[ have hardly any, but feel well, though somewhat fatigued. 
Still, I shall go, and get, on. The Chartists have made a pretty 
hash of it. F. O'Connor is a rogue, a liar, and a coward — a 
precious compound ! Hume tells me that the M.P.'s are to meet. 
You will see that the suffrage question is put back, and off. The 
working men who have some discretion ought to work on, 
however, and abstain from idle threats. I know, you know, they 
know, and the Duke of Wellington knows, they cannot, dare not 


It is all braggart talk. 

To Dr. R. Jilarh: 

Ashley Arneirooil, Milton, Hants. — I have received a printed 
paper signed by Lovett and others about their plans, f If I can 
do anything to assist, I shall be glad, and really believe the 
present not merely a good opportunity for stirring, but one 
which imposes on the true friends of good government the 
duty of making some attempt to rescue the working classes from 
the dangers to which they are now exposed. The late doings 
of the Chartists have been seized by tiie Whigs with delight, 
as they have afforded them a pretext for expense, and given them 
a means of retaining office. They will now effect a junction with 
a large section of the Tories, and we shall have a dead-set made 
at the persons who endeavour to change the representation hi 

• " The Whig Ministry of 1830;' 

t This probably refers to a Chartist address on univorsal suffrage from 
''Tho Radical Reformers of EIngland, Scotland, and Wales to the Irish 



J: \ 






this country. I liave .a strong feeling- in my mind about all this ; 
so grave do I deem the present crisis, that I feel greatly tempted 
to step forward and take the lead in a movement for the purpose 
of effecting a real Parliamentary reform. My political econo- 
mical notions run so thoroughly counter to the vain visions of 
many of the working men, that they would look upon me with 
distrust. I am sure that wages cannot be raised or kept down by 
Act of Parliament, and that any scheme for giving to every man 
a fixed sum, without regard to the value of his labour, without 
regard to his skill, industry, or honesty, is the most mischievous 
delusion ever practised on the people. Moreover, I am not at 
all ready to allow the operatives to call themselves pnr excellence 
the people, the working classes, and the real producers of wealth. 
I consider myself just as much one of the people — one of the 
working classes, one of the producers of wealth— as a weaver 
of ribbons, as a spinner of yarn, or a digger of coal. I have 
no schemes for employing the people — no lottery — no farm for 
them to live on. I want none of their money, and won't flatter 
them, so I suppose they will with difficulty be brought to listen. 
Still, it might be done.* 

To Thomas Folconer. 

June 29, 1848. — I carried your note at once to Brougham, 
and he is to see Morpeth about it. . . . The weather has changed 
to hot and dry, and I am really beginning to be very anxious 
about my turnips. Things here are in a pitiable condition. 
The government is in truth below all feeling — even that of 
contempt. There never was such a spectacle exhibited. I see 
now war in the distance. Austria, as I always prophesied, will 
beat the Italians, and France will interfere. A general war will 
follow — no care can prevent this. If we keep out of the fray we 
shall be fortunate, and certainly our people will profit by other 
nations' disasters. My notion is that Russia will step in, take the 
part of Austria, and order. France will have to seek for allies 
in Germany and Englaml. What a pill for the French ! 

T'o Mrs. Roebuck. 
Penrith, Tuesday, October 3, 1848.— Brougham has promised 
to answer all my queries with regard to the history, and I steadily 
* See ante, p. 118, ami iwst, pp. 354-5. 



occupy my time in prcparin^j; and arraufjinj,' all tlio matter. . . . 
There are two little j^irls here, but I miss my own very much, ami 
long to be back again with you both. Home is the only place 
in which I do not feel weary. 

Ocloher 1]. — In the midst of the turmoil yesterday I missed 
^vriting. Miss Burdett-Coutts and Co. so occupied the house, 
and created such confusion, that I escaped out-of-doors. Miss 
B.-C. is tall and thin, unaffected in manner, on the whole rather 
pleasing, a quiet retired sort of person ; but the two doctors and 
one wife are too much for human endurance. 

My drive to the hills was really beautiful, but the whole 
bt^auty is so changeable, and the lights and shadows vary so 
rapidly, and give so little outline, that sketch there is none to 
be taken. Besides, it is too cold for sitting abroad. The general 
character of the country can only be depicted by colour. The 
flitting lights and shadows, the bright autumn tints, the rolling 
mists, and the mass of hills, make the beauty of the scene. The 
black lead pencil gives none of these, and I have no colours here. 
Still, it is all in my memory, and I shall see what can be done 
to put it on paper when at home. 

London, November, 1S4H. — I saw, some time since, in the 

library here (Reform Club), a very little man. , with him, 

came to me and asked, "Would you like to be introduced to 
M. Louis Blanc ? " " liy all means," I replied. On which 
the said little man and I were introduced in due form. He is 
very small, / can say that. He has a brown skin, sharp brown 
eyes, with the whites of a brown hue, a retiring forehead, and an 
eastern nose. He was very anxious to make himself out a friend 
of order, a partisan of democracy, universal suffrage, and to make 
me believe that he was ready to submit to the majority. This, 
nowever, I do not believe. I am to meet him at dinner on 

Tuesday, November 14, 1848.— Well, I dined with M. Louis 
Blanc. A more complete charlatan I never saw. A thorougldy 
poor creature, dealing in phrases, and fancying himself a dis- 
coverer, because he has revived doctrines that have been exploded 
a quarter of a century since. Opposite to me sat a Doctor 
Ashburnham, who brought himself to my recollection as an 
opponent of mine twenty years ago, he supporting Robert Owen's 
views of social economy, and I opposing them. I could not help 







l! •', 

exclaiming to liiin while Louis Blauc was indulging in a regular 
French iirdth, " Why, we have gone over the whole of this rubbish 
twenty years since ! " He could not help assenting, and owning 
that the mare's-nest had been found and taken in those days. 

By Lord Morpeth succeeding to the Earldom of Carlisle, 
a vacancy was caused in the representation of the West 
Riding of Yorkshire. Mr. Roebuck's name was brought 
prominently before the electors and the Liberal Election 
Committee. The Hon. Charles Fitzwilliam, who had first 
come forward, failed to obtain general support to his 
candidature on the part of the Liberals. The county 
electors of SheflBeld urged the adoption of Mr. Roebuck, 
and instructed the delegates they sent to the central 
conference at Normanton to promote his nomination. 
They failed, however, to carry the point — Sir Culling E. 
Eardley being chosen as the Liberal Candidate. Mr. Fitz- 
william retired, and then ensued a memorable contest 
between Sir Culling Eardley and Mr, Edmund Beckett 
Denison. The split created in the Liberal Party by dis- 
agreements as to the candidate, resulted in the seat being 
captured by the Tories. 

To Jlis. Roehw'Jc. 

Loiulon, Xovemhcr 1(j, 1848. — The idea of my going to the 
West Riding made a sensation here, as it has evidently frightened 
the Whigs ; but the bigotry of the Dissenters would be a great 
annoyance to me. I must bide my time. 

November 17. — ^At last the West Riding people have sent to 
me, and Fairbairn * is the ambassador. He has persuaded mo 
to go to Leeds to-morrow afternoon, as on a visit to him, for I 
am unwilling to appear in the matter publicly till I see my way. 

London, November 19. — The telegraph has just brought au 
earnest request to go to Leeds, so I start to-night at nine. I 
go not in the slightest degree compromised to any course. 
I shall listen to what the Liberal party will say, and, before I 

* Mr., afterwards Sir Peter, Fairbairn, of Woodsloj-. 





consent to be a candidate, I shall require a strong requisition, and 
a distinct written understanding for them to bear all the expenses. 
The expenses of the polling places alone amount to nearly £800, 
so the mere standing is a thuig I could not undertake, even if 
sure of success. ... To fight this battle with a fair chance and 
to be defeated will not tell against me. The case is not an 
ordinary one, and to be asked to stand by a great party for the 
"West Riding of Yorkshire is a feather in any man's cap. 

Leech^ November 2'2, 181S. — . . . There is a meeting of 
delegates at Normanton at midday, and at four o'clock I shall 
learn their decision. On coming here I found Baines* was in 
reality the only difficulty, and he took up the old quarrel of 
the Dissenters — but they are in a fix. If, however, it should 
appear that I am not cordially called upon, and not to be loyally 
dealt with, I shall refuse the invitation. The great difficulty is, 
in fact, the money, and in these times of commercial pressure 
money is not very rife with the merchants, who are, in fact, 
lighting this battle. Yesterday young Fitzwilliam began his 
public proceedings by appearing in the Cloth Hall here. I did 
not hear his speech, as he spoke only for a few minutes. Fair- 
bairn and I walked into the crowd, and listened to what was 
going on. Some persons found out that I was there, and, as 
matters proceeded, the cry was raised that I was present, and 
demands for me to appear upon the platform and address the 
meeting. At length the meeting almost unanimously called 
for me, and I was forced, J iter ally forced to appear. I refused, 
liowever, to appear as a candidate, and abstained from any 
exposition of my o^v^a opinions. Had I wished, the temper 
of the meeting — a very large one — was so completely with me 
that I could have taken it at the flood, and forced myself into 
the position of a candidate. This, however, would not have been 
wise. The responsibility of choosing or refusing would then have 
been taken away from the delegates, and assumed by myself. 
The shufflers would have taken advantage of this, and I shoidd 
have found myself saddled with the expense and odium of a 
contest. I leave the rest of the page for the statement of the 
delegates' decision ; and when I think 0' the turmoil and strife 
into which I am about possibly to plunge, I shall hardly be 
disappointed if I find myself in the railroad carriage on my way 
* Mr., afterwards Sir Edward, Baiues, of the Leeds Merctiry. 

i , I 






m f 

1' i' 



home. Every day makes me love the quiet of our present privacy 
more and more. 

London^ Thursday. — The decision of the delegates did not 
reach me until late in the evening, and as I felt sure that it was 
against me, I came back at once. Personally I do not regret the 
decision. I sincerely believe, however, that it is a public evil, 
because it shows how strong the bigotry of the people still is. 
My opinions on education and want of sympathy with the Anti- 
Catholic outcry, was the cause of the enmity and opposition of 
Baines. I believe now the Tory candidate, Beckett Denison, will 

November 23. — The Times of to-day has an article sjieaking 
in very handsome terms of myself, and blowing up the bigots. 
Lord Melbourne is, if not actually dead, so near it that he 
may be said to be extinct. Brougham's letter shows that he 
knows nothing of what is going on here. The times he speaks 
of are past, and cannot return, and he is really half crazed about 
the mob. I do not like the mob one whit more than he does, 
but it is useless to kick against the pricks. The people will have 
a hand in the affairs which interest them, and all we can do is 
to make them wise enough to be able to decide correctly. 

To Thomas North (Bath). 

Reform Ch(b, November 24, 1848. — You will see by the papers 
what has been the decision of your Dissenting friends. / have 
never proposed to stand without a requisition being previously 
sent to me, as without such an invitation I should have been 
saddled with the expense, and have, therefore, never allowed any 
one to speak of me as a candidate. What the people of Yorkshire 
have done has been their own voluntary proceeding. They 
have preferred Sir Culling Eardley simply because he is a bigot 
in religion. He opposed the Reform Bill, voted for General 
Gascoigne's motion to turn out Lord Grey's Government, and 
was a violent enemy of any enlargement of the suffrage ; but 
he is a violent hater of papists, and that is enough to please 
Mr. Baines of the Leeds Mercury. So you see, I am free from 
the trouble of this election. I am, however, pretty well assured 
that, if I had been selected, I should have had no contest — all 
parties would have been pretty well content. 



In a letter to Mr. Peter Fairbairn, declaring his deter- 
mination, in the interests of party unity, not to offer 
himself as a candidate, Mr. Roebuck repeated his warning 
lest an exchange of the old watchwords of civil and 
religious liberty for a narrower feeling of religious anti- 
pathy, should lead to the permanent disruption of the 
Liberal party. He wrote — 












My great object, during the whole of my political life, has 
been the steady advancement of rational freedom. From the 
pursuit of that object, no temporary expediency, 110 pei-sonal 
ambition, no party or sectarian passion, has made me swerve ; 
and now I wish so to improve the present incident as to make it 
subservient to this great end of all my endeavours, by healing 
all differences between those who have long been friends, and 
uniting them again into that bond of fellowship which has, in 
past times, produced glorious results, and which will, if it be 
maintained, lead to others not less worthy of admiration and 
gratitude. To be among my friends during the present contest — 
to state my political opinions before the great constituency of 
the West Riding — would, indeed, be of itself a subject of gi'atu- 
lation and honourable pride ; to have been able to place this great 
contest on the broad ground of national interests ; in this hour 
of the world's dismay and almost universal confnsior,, to have 
made manifest to the world that my countrymen were still 
self-possessed, and ardent as ever in the pursuit of freedom — that 
they were neither frightened from their purpose by the follies 
of other nations, nor excited to wild hopes by theories and 
experiments not yet tested by experience ; to have given them 
the opportunity of proving themselves what they really are, 
cautious, yet ardent, tolerant to others, while vindicating their 
own rights, and loving and seeking freedom and security, 
political, social, religious, not for themselves alone, but for 
mankind ; — to have been able to fairly do all this would have 
been a reward for a long life of labour. But this I willingly 
forego— any expectation of success I cheerfully relinquish — in 
the hope that by so doing I contribute to reunite the friends 
of civil and religious freedom; that I afford an opportunity 
to old friends to forget present differences, and to join heart 




3! *■' 

•si '1 



i< H^ 

* 1' 



and hand in the great work before them— a work not yet half 
accomplished — viz. the giving to the people of this great country* 
in fact, and not merely in name, the government of 


To Mrs. Roebuck. 

November 29, 1848.— Charles Buller is dead — he died this 
morning at six. Two days since I saw Fleming, and from his 
manner concluded that Buller was in danger. 

H. [Hawes] again attacked me, saying he had been speaking 
of me to his chiefs, and again asked if I would take an Indian 
judgeship. My answer was fiercely, " No." Out of England I do 
not go but for the purpose of returning — for me — rich. 

November 30. — The West Riding election mifiht have been 
carried by a conp de main — and might be so now, but I am 
very fearful of getting into debt, and finding myself hampered 
through the rest of my life. 

I asked Fairbairn for an introduction to Richardson, the artist 
— the real successor to Copley Fie,' ding. His style is to me 
a fascination. I dined with Lady Duff Gordon. She told me 
her father was demented in favour of small farms, and something 
very like Communism ; her mother ditto. What has come to 
all these clever people ? 


To Thomas North (Bath). 

Milton, Hamps,„.re, December 23, 1848. — I have received your 
letters and the enclosures. I was quite certain that the rumour 
about Manchester was an idle one ; besides, that place and its 
people are not the right soit for me. As you might learn, even 
from the letters you received, neither the one nor the other 
of those persons would have supported me. The Manchester 
bourgeoisie is in many things like that of Paris ; but, fortunately 
for it, has a stout soldiery to protect it. It dreads the people — 
that is, the working classes — and is Liberal only so far as it 
believes Liberality, i.e. free trade, to be profitable. I write in 
great haste, and great alarm and trouble. Mrs. Roebuck has 
been very dangerously ill — is still in bed, and far from safe. I 
sometimes fancy I am half mad from anxiety. 




I your 
id its 
pie — 
as it 
te in 

Tu MiH. Roebuck. 

Decemhfit; 1848. has gone to LlskearJ [vacant by the 

death of Charles Buller], but I have no great faith in him. T. S. 
wished to put JMacaulay in my way there, but he (M.) at once 
most handsomely refused.* 

Leeds, December oO, 18-18. — Fairbairn went over to Bury, and 
got from me a promise to come here, where I have been treated 
with every possible kindness. In Bury they treated me hke 
a prince ; and, indeed, the luxury and wealth everywhere ex- 
hibited absolutely astounds me. The landed people can show 
nothing like it. The only drawback is that all is neiv ; but so 
magnificent and really good that no one can turn up his nose. 
I have been so fefed that T am almost ill. My frugality of 
eating surprises and, I fear, annoys my hosts. Had I forty 
parson-power, I should be more popular. 

* Macaulay records in his diary, November 29 and 30, 1848: "I was 
shocked to learn the death of poor Charles Buller. I could almost cry 
for him. . . . Tufnell [Treasury Whip] sent for me, and proposed Liskeard 
to me. I hesitated ; and went home leaving tlie matter doubtful. Roebuck 
called at near seven to ask about my intentions, as ho had also been thought 
of. This at once decided me; and I said I would not stand, and wrote 
to Tufnell, telling him so. Roebuck lias on more than one occasion behaved 
to me with great kindness and generosity ; and I did not choose to stand 
in his way (Trevelyau's " Life of Macaulay," ii. p. 245). Mr. R. Buddon 
Crowder, afterwards a judge, was elected for Liskeard without opposition. 
In former years Roebuck's estimate of Macaulay's power as a Parliamentary 
orator, as expressed in his -' Diary of sn M.P.," in Tail's Magazine, had not 
been a flattering one. 









SHEFFIELD. 184!). 

In the early days of January, 1849, Mr. Roebuck was 
entertained by the Reformers of Bradford, Wiltshire, and 
presented with a piece of " drake's-head green cloth," the 
manufacture of the place, on which an inscription was 
worked in silk recording that it was intended as a token 
of respect for his manly conduct in the House of Commons. 
Mr. Roebuck took the opportunity of discussing the con- 
dition of the people and the state of the nation. The recent 
defeat of Sir Culling Eardley, in the West Riding of York- 
shire, enabled him to point the moral of what he considered 
the " spiritual pride " of the Dissenters, and, as he regarded 
it, their sacrifice of civil rights for theological dogmas and 
religious intolerance. 

./. A. Roebnrk to Franris Placo. 

Milton, Lyminiiloii, Hanix, Jinmaiij 17, 184!). — I am hard at 
work writing a history of our friends, the Whijjjs. Can you let 
me see any collections or M8S. of yours relating to the Reform 
Bill and subseciuent events ;' The state of the popular mind in 
1830-33 is a point of gveut interest, about which you have, 
I know, collected much evider^ce. ... I am writing and working 
very assiduously, as I want tue work off my hands before return- 
ing to Parliament, which I may or may not be asked to do, 
though the probability is in favour of my being asked. 

d at 
a let 
d in 



To Thomiix Xoi'lh {lialh,) 

Jli/loii, I/an/K, Janmiif/ 22, 1H4!).— As respects myself, all 
thin^a seem to work very well ; whether uny result worth haviup 
will follow, I cannot suy. If certain jMvrties can keep me out, they 
will do so ; it remains to l)e seen what their power in. The 
Times certainly is, for it, veiy complimentary. The only persons 
besides mere Whigs who are opposed to me are the Wesleyans 
and some other members of Dissenting bodies. The Leeds 
Merriuy wu.^ furious against me for what I said at liradford, 
but all my friends in Yorkshire entreated mc to give him no 
reply, which indeed I never thought of doin<. 


To Mrs. Ilorhuilc. 

Januiinj, 1840. — j. dined with Wortley. Hallam I found 
deeply wounded by Macaulay's great success, though perhaps to 
careless observers no evidence of such a feeling exists. As for 
news, all the world is expecting what Parliament will bring, and 
nothing occurs. Tn I'aris they are eudcav ouring to get up a row, 
and will not succeed. The Ministers have anticipated Cobden by 
declaring that they intend to economize. We want men, or 
rather a man, in India. Had Napier been in Gough's place this 
check would never have happened. 

Mr. Roebuck looked forward to the coming of a new 
Conservative party. 

A great Conservative party must soon be formed, one which 
will govern England for some years. Not a feudal party, but a 
compound of persons quite willing to advance, introducing all 
sorts of administrative reforms willingly and proprio motu, yielding 
in respect to political changes to the widely expressed and strongly 
felt wish of the people regarding them. They will oUow the 
public mind freely, fairly, cordially, but they will not in political 
affairs lead it. On the one side, they will have a bigoted party, 
and on the other, the fanatical political one, and should steer a 
middle course between these extremes. 

To Mrs. lloabuvk. 

February, 1849. — . . . I find Frank Mills vehement against 
my leaving England. One other person to whom T mentioned it 
is furious. 

■' W. 




• .'. 





To Fraiiris Plovr. 

MiUon, March 1, 1S4!>. — When I aiu somewhat further 
advanced,* I should like you to look over my labours, if you can 
^ive your time to it. I am afraid that I shall offend some of 
my friends by sayius>' what I think. This, however, cannot be 
helped. I am veiy much attached to these friends, but I nuist 
not Siicrifice what I think the truth, because that truth is 
disagreeable. This difficulty was a reason indeed for not WTiting 
the book, but to that [ am now pledged. You will not be 
offended, but you would tell me plainly what you thought in- 
correct as statements of facts. As far as ojiitiions are concerned, 
we should, I think, not differ much. 

I was surprised to find in your MS. that you considered 
the going by the king, on November J), liS;^0, to the Guildhall 
was t/cnif/proi/s. f The AVhigs all sneered at the idea of danger to 
the king. They said to the duke, " Stay you away and no harm 
can happen." You don't seem to think this true. You say that 
the blackguards would have made a row, whether the duke waa 
away or not. The thing is not very important now, though at the 
time it created a great noise. 

To Fra/iris Pluce. 

Milton, March 4, 184'.).— I send yon the first chapter of my 
" History." You will see it is merely a general resume of affairs from 
1815 to 1827, written with a view of bringing the Whigs on the 
stage. I proceed step by step to make the history more particular 
and the conduct of the Whigs more apparent. Remember my 
" History " is that of the 117//// A(/miiiislrafioii. What illustrates 
that is suitable for my purpose ; anything beyond I do not want. 
As I go on my " History " will be that of the Empire at large, as 
affected by the Whig Administration. At present I have not yet 
expanded to that extent. I am now treating of the great Reform 
question, and I am just bringing the Whigs on the stage as an 
administration. While writing the truth, I wish to make my 
relation a striking history. 

Some of the statements made, even in this summary, are 

* With the " History of the Whig Ministry of 1830." 
t Wiilpole's " History," vol. iii. p. 185, et. seq. ami Roebuck's " Whig 
Ministry," vol. i. p. 411. 


fc, as 
[»t yet 
Its an 



curious. The one rcspectinj; tlio AVhii;s' refusal to take ofllee if 
the Ministry should be dismissed on the (juoon's business,* Lord 
Brougliani has insisted on my inserting: as true. If true, it is 
highly honourable to the party of which he \v 13 then the most 
important member. 

I will send from time to time the SIS. I am writing- hard 
and writin-,' really without regard to my health ; still, it must be 
done. I have debts to pay, and, \l I die in the struggle, that 
must be done. I believe that a great game is before me if my 
health hold, but of that I am not sure. Still, I go on. So let me 
know when you have gone through the lirst page of my " History " 
and I will send you another. 

To J/is. lioeburk. 

Miorh 17, 184!).— :Mrs. Buller [mother of Charles Ruller, 
M.P.] is dead. She went out ; died asleep almost. Now oue day 
well, another ill, but every day sank more and more, till at last 
she fell into a sleep which came to that last long oue called 
the end. This thing called life — how poor it is after all ! Here 
she dies a broken-hearted old woman, whose youth was happy, gay, 
sparkling with pleasure — the brirlit Queen of the (Janges. 
Glorying in her two boys, and fixing her happiness on the 
one's success — she is left alone. Iler husband deail, her sou dies, 
the other abroad — she dies in a stranger's house. This is but a 
poor close after all. The sun seems to go down in clouds and 
rain — we die in sorrow, wishing the day ended. The old story : 
one pegs the other out — Lady Dulf Gordon had a son and 
heir last night. She is very happy, and very well. I have seen a 
sun picture of Lord Brougham that is inimitable. The day for 
taking it must not be very sunny, but a clear sky with Hying 
clouds. There is uo exaggeration of parts ; everything is in right 
perspective and harmonious. I shall go myself, and bring with 
me my own r ' 'crion, and you shall judge. If it is as like as 
Lord -H. i, thru I shall see my own likeness, which I fancy I never 
have '■ ■ )C'. 

AlarJi :9. — Well, I have been to the sun, and I have had my 
picture,, srch a (jucer thing. I shall t j .. get Brougham. I 
should like to have ('. J. Napier. F. IMills has heard some 
passages from my " History," and is greatly j)leased with it. 
* " History of the V/liig Alinisxry," vol. i. p. 1». 




■ 1- 











To Fmncbi Plaec 

March 2G, 1849. — Thaaks for your suggestions. . . . When 
1 began my work I was quite aware of the very nice difficulty 
I should have to avoid about B. [Brougham.] I hoped, never- 
theless, to be able to tell the truth and fairly state my own 
opinions without giving him offence ; but, as I proceed, I fear 
more and more lest I shall inevitably wound him. To avoid 
this will, I am afraid, be impossible. I shall not use any harsh 
words. My very sincere and warm attachment to him personally 
will prevent this, even were there any disposition on my part, 
which there is not, to employ harsh epithets. But I cannot \ ake 
his views of men. He now lives with the Tory party, and his 
kind nature forces him not merely to like the people with whom 
he is in daily intercourse, but also to approve of their conduct 
and to adopt their political views.* This I cannot do, and my 
opinions I must express. These he will find so completely opposed 
to his own that he will, I fear, be hurt. Now, I cannot avoid 
this. Do not decide, then, upon isolated passages, but jml by 
the whole. You will find that my decision on his acts ' isv ufi' a 
unfavourable that one or two expressions of kind feeling towarls 
him will hardly be enough to make people think me his echo. 
I confess that when I find him right I am not unwilling to say 
so rather strongly, and when I find him ill-treated, to speak of 
those who so treat him with some indignation. 

Now for your criticism as to my having treated the years from 
1817-22 with greater brevity, and having made them less 
important than the years from 1822-27. My " History " properly 

* In iin article in TaiVs Magazine, December, 1833, p. 325, Iloebuck, 
speaking of Brougham, then on the woolsack, had said : " He has obtained a 
vast renown upon a very slender foundation. His failures — and they have 
been many — have proceeded from two causes. Ho has pretended to too much, 
and he wants moral courage. By attempting everything, ho is unable to 
deal with any subject effectually. He knows nothing to the bottom. His 
incessant activity surprises the fool^, but has ruined his own mind. . . . 
Present approbation is the very breath of his nostrils. To obtain this appro- 
bation he will sacriiice anything and everything." And then, contrasting 
Brougham's boldness on the platform of a public meeting with his demeanour 
in the Lords, he says : " In the latter he bends to their influence, cringes to 
their prejudice's. He has not the courage to face their, frowns or to despise 
their scorn. He has no hardiness of spirit." See also Roebuck's " History," 
passim, and especially Appendix A., vol i. 



3d a 







begins at 1830, but I was obliged to go back some years in order 
to bring forward my dramatis persons and place them fairly on 
the stage at the real rising of the curtain in 1830. All that goes 
before is merely an introduction. The stream of history bcj^in- 
ning at 1815 gradually expands, becomes larger and larger, till it 
comes in full tide at 1830. And thus it happens that the years 
nearer to 1830 are more minutely treated than the earlier ones. 
But I must not convey wrong impressions while doing this ; and, 
as I think with you the rarliamentarij proceedings from 1817-22 
were of more importance than the J'arliamentart/ proceedings 
from 1822-27, I must use some expressions to show my value of 
these two periods. But it is only the Parliamentary proceedings 
that I deem of this superior importance. The working of the 
public mind, the political and economic literature of the latter 
period, were of very great importance. The effect of that literature 
on the popular mind during the latter period was much greater 
than during the preceding years ; in fact, from 1 820-30 I believe 
the most wonderful period in our history, if we look merely at 
the importance of the people's opinions. The writings of Bentham 
T)roduced a silent revolution in the mode of treating all political 
and moral subjects. The habits of thought were entirely new, 
and the whole body of political writers, without (for the most 
part) knowing whence the inspiration came, were full of a new 
spirit, and submitted all acts to a new test. Utility (I mean the 
true meaning of that much-abused term), and not mere unmeaning 
sentiment, was this test. In this sense, then, I think this ten 
years deserving of great attention. To discuss the clianges that 
occurred is very difficult. It is not a history of battles and 
murders, or great party conflicts, but of wonderful mental changes 
in a whole people. To give anything like a true conception of 
this I find very difficult. Having lived through that time an 
observant and very sanguine enthusiastic spectator, I wish to 
make others who shall come after us feel as I feel about these 
times, but to do so is almost impossible. 

I am now finishing the general election in 1830, and have 
described briefly the Middlesex and Yorkshire elections. These 
were two remarkable events, the Kijmjitoms, not the causes, of 

The decrease of the Duke of Wellington's popularity from 
the passing of the Emancipation Act to the commencement of the 

t ! 






General Election, is a very curious political phenomenon, for 
which I have found it not easy to account. I can see a number 
of separate circumstances, by themselves not very important 
apparently, but which, taken altogether, produced that great 
change. He really did nothing to make liimself unpopular, but 
the world guessed that he was opposed to Parliamentary reform, 
and they were right. The doings of the French Ministers were 
evidently the most influential circumstances as causing a change 
of the public feeling. They (the people) assumed that Wellington, 
like Polignac, was ready to be the minister of despotism, and I 
fancy they were not far wrong as to the Duke at that time. He 
grew wiser in after years. ... I was in town disturbed by a 
matter connected with Parliament. I shall be there, I fancy, soon. 
In the mean time I go on working hard. 

Francis Place to J. A. lioeliuck. 

Mai '., 1S40. — [After explaming that ill-health prevents him 
from loo ,. authorities as he would like]. Mind, I have no 

quarrel with .»>' ugham, neither do I wish you to take my words 
as for more than a caution on your own account solely. I never 
will have a quarrel with him. AVith other men under similar 
circumstances it would be otherwise. But the good he has done 
so greatly over-balances the evil, that I have on several occasions 
defended him from his enemies. Between ourselves, however, 
I think it my duty to caution you to go with the utmost circum- 
spection, lest you should commit yourself in a way which may 
subject you to the imputation of having been misled by him to 
the damage of your own reputation.* I fear there is ambiguity, 
or rather an actual misleading in the note, page i), of your first 
chapter, and in chapter ii. where you speak as if Brougham were 
considered as having been duly appointed leader of the House of 
Commons on the popular side, which he certainly was not. In 
1817 his conduct respecting both the press and the people was 
very bad. It was said at the time that the countenance he gave 
to the proceedings of Lord Castlereagh encouraged him to con- 
tinue those proceedings to the extent they were carried. There 

* A slirewd forecast, for see article "Brougham" in "Dictionary of 
Universal Biography," which warns readers that Roebuck's " History " was 
" largely inspired by Brougham, and for that and other reasons must not be 
implicitly trusted." 








was certainly much unbecoming conduct on Brougham's part in 
the House of Commons, in respect to his being returned for 
Westminster, for which he was rebuked witli not undue severity. 

In March, 1849, Mr. H. G. Ward, one of the members 
for Sheffield, was appointed Lord High Commissioner of 
the Ionian Islands. In looking for a successor the eyes 
of the Liberals in the constituency at once turned, with 
singular unanimity, towards Mr. Roebuck. The occasion 
was regarded as favourable for healing the differences 
which the recent contest for the West Ridinjc had caused. 
The most influential member of the party was himself in 
favour of bringing forward Mr. Macaulay, who had been 
rejected by Edinburgh, but he yielded to the views of the 
others. Mr. Roebuck at once accepted the invitation of 
the Sheffield electors. He pointed to his past life as a 
pledge of what his future career would be. He was re- 
cognized as a thorough-going Radical, and while that did 
not alienate from him the support of more moderate 
Liberals — who thought that he went too far in the matter 
of the franchise — it disarmed a threatened Chartist opposi- 
tion, based on Mr. Roebuck's refusal to support a universal 
suffrage that should not except rogues, thieves, and vaga- 
bonds. The extension of the franchise sketched by Mr. 
Roebuck as worthy of support was practically household 
suffrage. A Mr. T. Clark did, indeed, offer himself as a 
candidate in the Chartist interest, in opposition to Mr. 
Roebuck, but after an interview between the two candi- 
dates, Mr. Clark withdrew, finding that on the subject of 
the suffrage there was no material difference. "Our great 
bond of union as Chartists," he wrote, " is the sutfrage ; 
and whatever Mr. Roebuck's opinions may be upon other 
subjects, on that of franchise he approximates so closely 
to us, that opposition to him would, I think, be both unwise 
and unseemly." 

The choice was very generally applauded throughout 

' ,i 




f p 




the country, even Mr. Roebuck's old foeman, the Times, 
remarking that Sheffield would do itself honour by re- 
instating Mr. Roebuck in his natural and proper position. 
" Mr. Roebuck out of Parliament, and Parliament without 
Mr. Roebuck," were, it said, " equally imperfect. How many 
times," it exclaimed, "since last November twelvemonth, 
have the public missed the vigorous eloquence, the honest 
indignation, the home truths, the mother-wit,* the sterling- 
good sense — albeit clothed sometimes in a stoical if not a 
cynical garb, for which the member for Bath stood un- 
rivalled and alone." 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

March 17, 1849. — I shall remain till Monday, and, if Ward 
accepts, I shall start at once for Sheffield and hoist my standard 
tlicrc. T have no fear of the result. 

Mo ;/, March IH, 184!). — Ward has accepted, so Sheffield 
will be vacant. I am makinj^ arranij^enients, but it will not be 
declanifl till Eii<'^;^r. 

To William Fisher, Sheffield. 

April 13, 1849. — I hope to be of service by promoting; good 
feelin<i;s between working-men and their employers. If I com- 
menced with difference between the Chartists and myself, my 
chance of peace-makint? would be very much diminished, 
liesides, I own that I have strong feelings of sympathy with the 
working-men. There are admirable traits in their character 
which have always excited my regard — a sterling manliness which 
I could wish all classes to share. A quarrel with the men them- 
selves would really give me pain. 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

Sheffield, May 1, 1849.-- . . . Well, it is really to be a walk- 
over for the first time in my life. We had a large open-air 
meeting last night. The weather was beautiful, and everything 
passed off well. The extraordinary nonsense of the working- 
men's ideas would startle you. I met everything with a perfectly 
fearless answer, and therefore, in some cases, I was met by loud 



groans. I quickly conquered the meeting, but carefully abstained 
from all appearance of suiting my words so as to please them. 

I found that "Ward had not deceived the people by his acts, 
that his deeds and his words squared, but his manmr had 
evidently misled the men, and they compluiued of his xofi 
sawder^ a commodity which I bluntly told them they would not 
receive from me. On the new Poor Law, abolishing the House 
of Lords, Socialistic theories, I brought out ray refusals to 
agree with them, with a steady peremptory roughness. The 
mode told, and they grumbled assent to my election. On 
Thursday the nomination or election will take place. Oeorge 
Edwards [his late Chairman of Committee at Hath] is coming, 
with others, to the nomination ; what right-hearted fellows ! 

Sheffifild, May 2, 1849. — All goes well, and I suppose by to- 
moiTow I shall be M.P. for Sheflield. So soon as I am really 
returned I will send you a line. ... A Mr. Fenton, a reverend 
curate of Norton, came to claim cousinship with me ; his 
father. Colonel Fenton, having married Miss lloebuck, the 
daughter of Benjamin lloebuck, of Meersbrook. He told mo 
that I had a family vault in the parish church here, if I was 
at all particular as to my lying when the time comes, f 
thanked him for his information, but said I was careless of the 
whereabouts when that time did come. I am a sort of bulwark 
here by which the masters hope to be defended : the men fear 
while they are compelled to elect me. Altogether my position is 
new and curious. 

i I, 

1.1 " 


' !i 


On May 3 Mr. Roebuck was elected as member for 
Sheffield without opposition. 




To Jfrs. Rorbuck. 

Maij 4, 1849. — I have lying before me a note directed with 
the old addition of M.P., and so I am, having walked over the 
course. The events of the election have been peculiar only in 
their quietness. I have been the moans of healing differences, 
and uniting the Liberal party. 

May G. — I have taken my seat ; the congratulations without 
end, but, just as I was leaving the House, I found myself quite 
lame, so that I was for the present Imrx lio romhnf. 

May 9, 1849. — The Cobdcn party are horribly annoyed by my 


1 1' 

l-\ -1 


quiet statements at Sheffield. They feel themselves put down. I 
could not help this. Common sense required my statement, which 
I made without reference to their peculiar views and feelings, but 
this was from the nature of things, not from my desire. 

F. Mills is full of my doings, and is so kind that I am 
absolutely overpowered. In truth, the world within a few days 
has borne an aspect so different from that of former times, that I 
am touched and melted. ]\Iy course has required courage, but it 
is now clear it was a wise as well as an honest one. At present 
I am watching events, in order fairly to take advantage of wind 
and tide, which are now in my favour. Certainly such a position 
ought not to be sacrificed after the long labours by which it has 
been won. 

My book [" The Colonies of England "] is now being printed. 



4. 1 


( 223 ) 



n 5 i 



To JJis. Roehticlc. 

May, 9, 1849. — I have not yet seen Palmerston, but shall do so 
in order to learn what his feelings are respecting my motion as to 
the debts due by foreign governments to our Government and 
British subjects. Cobden's anger at this notice was curious. He 
is under the control of Bright, who, being a Quaker, chooses to 
be really warlike in favour of peace. Cobden is overborne by the 
pugnacious peace-talking Friend. His bugbear is war ; his one 
idea, saving. 

Last night was about as dull an affair as possible, and the 
majority in the Lords giving 49 as majority to ministers, has 
destroyed every hope of the Protectionist party.* To-night will 
finish the business in the Commons. It is all cry and little wool. 
I find everybody exceedingly kind, rather more than commonly so. 

The ministers are on Monday to bring in a Constitution for 
Australia. This rather anticipates the Colonial Society. 

Mat/ 14. — They have appointed me on the committee to in- 
quire about £7000 being paid to M.P.'s.f They have come to me 
to take up the whole case of the Bankruptcy Laws, and the public 
and private debts of foreign governments to us. This is enough 
for one pair of hands. 

May 15. — I did make a speech ; and the Irish, as usual, set 

♦ The proposed repeal of the old Navigation Laws was made tlie rallying 
ground of the Protectionists. Tlic Bill, practically giving free trade to 
shipping, was fought stoutly in both Houses. The majority in the Lords on 
the second reading was carried, not by 49, as stated above, but by 10, and that 
only by the Government having more proxies than the Opposition. 

t There was a hirge sum unaccounted for in connection with the Par- 
liamentary promotion expenses of the Eastern Counties Railway. 

I )l 

: I 

7 !l 








up a howl. Lord John Russell was compelled to cuter into a 
defence of his policy. He was very civil, but was at first desirous 
of escapini? me by a jocose reply. This did not suit my purpose, 
and I compelled him to deal <i:ravely with the subject. The mere 
violent abuse and vulgar epithets of the Irish I turned from with 
one fling of contempt, to which the House heartily responded. 
Sir James (Jraham exclaimed to me, " Well, you have done good 
service in putting your hand in that nest of hornets ! We 
have all-along much wanted you." The universal observation 
being, "You may judge how your blow told by their anger." 
This band of hungry, noisy, unscrupulous Irishmen has abso- 
lutely disgusted the House into silence. The (lovernment is 
worried to death by their clamorous impertinences, and nobody 
likes to encounter their abuse. They have hitherto ridden rough- 
sliod over the House.* 

There is a row in Montreal. Lord Elgin has been mobbed. 
They have burned the Parliament House, and really become 
rebels. These are the loyal English party .f 

Maij 10. — The imbecility of the Government was curiously 
manifested last night. The Canadian riot has ex'cited great atten- 
tion here. The Government shuffle, and will say nothing, entreat- 
ing us to wait till more information is obtained. Tliere is no 
need of this ; we know everything that need be known, and have 
the power of at once forming a right decision. They know this ; 
but yet, for the purpose of gaining a delay of a few hours, they 
shuffle and put off the day. They are all casting about for a means 

* The subject was the Land Iinprovoment and Drainage of Ireland Bill. 
Mr. Roebuck denounced tlie scranible of Irishmen for English money. Tliey 
wished, ho said, to acquire without work, and tlie English taxpayers were 
asked to provide for those — not the Irish poor, but tlio Irish proprietors — who 
would not provide for themselves. The Government had destroyed self-help 
by lavishing English money on tlie country. Tiie '* vulgar abuse " witii whieli 
these remarks were resented may be judged by Mr. Joiin O'Connell's opening 
sentences : " The thunderbolt lias fallen, and we are not crushed. Tlie storm 
has come with all its fury upon us, and enforced witli the grimaces of the 
mountebank and the spite of tlio viper." On July 9 Mr. Roebuck made 
similar protest against the expenditure of the hard-earned money of tlie people 
of this country on an advance for railways and distressed unions in Ireland 

t The outbreak was caused by resentment at Lord Elgin, the Governor, 
giving assent to a Bill granting indemnities to those whoso property suffered 
in the insurrection of 18157-38, without excepting such as might themselves 
have been rebels. 

Slhi ' """'W 'he whole, time '! ?" ^^ """ -fel^t 

Bm*'for^.?.'l''f'' °" ^^^y 21, a,ke<I leave t,„ i • • 

measure, was described bv th °% "'"' P"''!'"' of the 
«;« debate, as „„o showt*taTf r" "'"' '*-«'" 

that a Bill „„ the same sub.vlf °''™™»»t on the pfea 
<'W aa anaouacemo™ whih T *° "^ '"'^"duoed next 
An^toy the remark thaJ^rL/M "■°™ *''• Chishot 
".e-^^ure would never ha™ beeni, ^'"* * «°^^™»en 
Koebuef. book and present 'i^"^" °^' ^-P' for Mr. 

P "^ employed. Everj. applicant f,„?,P ™ "'"o*' com- 

'-1 ' 

■!a I ^ 

•!i I 

»f ;i 


;■ ifl 







answered, even tlioiif^li tliu matter of his letter interests nohniuiui 
being but himself. ... A pretty kettle of fish iu Canada ! They 
arc bcginninj^ to find out that we were ric^iit when we warned 
them ajjfainst the En<,'lish party. I liave to-day a letter from Sir 
George Sinelair, in which he confesses that in 18o7 I was right. 

Tn Mrs. Unehwlc. 

May 20. — We are just now endeavouring by a committee to 
discern the truth of certain charges respecting Hudson "■ and the 
railways. It will come in this case to nothing, but the seen 
H most remarkable one. The rascality now brought to light .^ 

London,, Juno 4, IS-i!). — The last news just received is, that 
there is another insurrection in Paris, regular fighting and 
barricades, and, sooth to say, the men wiio revolt have right on 
their side — that is, they are right in the matter of their com- 
plaint against the Government ; but that does not justify revolt. 
The French fancy they have shown that the Government is in 
eiTor. They have no notion of yielding to a majority, but 
immediately turn to fight. Everything now will be confusion 
and misery. 

The potato blight has appeared in Ireland, and I find the 
same statement made here in England. 

June 15, 1849. — I was in time for the motion about ' 
Jews,t and ^^^^ them a speech much applauded. " Dizzy " c 
plimented me, saying the speech had greatly advanced the cause, 
which was "the best praise a speech could receive." This he 
said himself, coming over and shaking hands. The day was, on 
the whole, a curious one. Graham (Sir James) walked across, 
sat down by me, and said, " I owe you great amusement and 
instruction. I took your book with me on my holidays, and read 
it with the greatest interest. It is a most instructive as well as 
a most amusing book." This is very civil, and from Graham I 
like it. He is clever, and knows what he is abont. I have a 
lieautiful lithograph of Charles Napier, sent by Lady ("William) 

* The charges were made by shareholders in the Eastern Counties Bail- 
way against Hudson, the chairman of the company. 

t The Tarliamentary Oaths Bill. Tiiiid reading carried by a majority 
of m. 

I '. 



On a proposal in coinmittoo to vote a pfrant to delVay 
the expense of militia and voluntocrs in Canada, aiuend- 
inont was made, prayin<jj for the Royal Assent to bo with- 
held from the Canada Indemnity Bill until assurance was 
given that no person wlio cnfja;j;ed in or aided or abetted 
" that unnatural rebellion " should participate. In socondini^ 
that, Mr. Baillie Cochrane trumped up the old charge 
against Roebuck of having defended rebels at the bar of 
the House. Indignation at this brought Mr. Roebuck 
perilously near to launching a challenge. "Had that 
assertion," ho said, " not been uttered in the House of 
Commons ; had it been uttered by any man not clothed 

with the protection of the House " The remainder of 

the sentence was drowned in cries of " Oh, oh ! " As ho 
proceeded with his argument against the amendment ho 
calmed down, and, before resuming his seat, apologized 
for the somewhat excited state in which he Ijegan. There- 
upon Mr. Cochrane disavowed any intention of casting 
imputations on Mr. Roebuck. 

\ \ 



Jimp, 15. — AVe had a stormy night. lu the midst of tliu 
Canada debate, Mr. Baillie Cochrane thoui^ht fib to mako a vuitijar 
attack upon mo. I answered, and s^ave him a scarification. I 
shall have another set-to with him this evening. Gladstonu 
moved in the matter, and has got himself into a scrape. The 
]\Iinistry last night asked me to speak. The Attorney-General 
was the man sent to me. 

Jum IG. — The result of the Canada debatu will tell well in 
Canada. The majority was two to one, pretty nearly. Gladstone 
and Sidney Herbert acted foolishly. Sir James Graham came to 
me for information, and voted with me. Lord John [Russell] 
also came to me, and they made me, in fact, their authority. 
Dizzy's speech was very poor, bad in argument, expression, and 
delivery. My answer to Baillie Cochrane has gained me great 
applause. It is now past four p.m., and I have been up since 
eight, having gone to bed at three. No night except Wednesday 
have I been iu bed before two. At this moment, I am so sleepy 

■•' -u' * 

.- » I I 



■ 'k'y 





that I can hardly see, auJ for my sins I am gohig to diue with 
II. I). H. 

In consequence oi doubts expressed as to the power of 
the Crown to exercise the prerogative of mercy in the case 
of Smith O'Brien, Meagher, and others convicted of high 
treason, a bill was introduced, placing the matter beyond 
dispute. The Irish State prisoners, however, demanded 
that, instead of being transported for life, they should 
either be set at liberty or executed according to the original 
sentence, and they petitioned to be heard by counsel 
against the Transportation for Treason (Ireland) Bill. In 
the debate on this question, the Irish members set off in 
lull cry on Mr. Roebuck's track. He had declared that 
he would hang the prisoners to-morrow rather than they 
should escape by a quibble, contending that if this Bill 
were defeated, the capital sentence ought to be carried out. 
The scene that ensued was exti-aoi-dinarily heated. Mr. 
11. M. Fox (Longford), Mr. Reynolds (Dublin), Mr. R. D. 
Browne (Mayo), Mr. Lawless (Clonmel), and Mr. J. 
O'Connell, all in succession assailed Mr. Roebuck, who 
replied in kind, and the air was thick with recriminations 
and with appeals to the Speaker. Mr. Roebuck was 
accused of charging one member with falsehood, another 
with being drunk, and a third with insolence. The Speaker 
was conveniently deaf, and Captain Berkeley interposed 
with the remark that the interruptions of the Irish 
members were so contrary to the rules of the House, that 
he did not wonder at the violence with which Mr. Roebuck 
resented them. Mr. Roebuck's own account of the afl'air 
is given in the following letters : — 

June 19. — I have been all day busy with an Irish row. They 
have made a run upon mo, in the hopes of running me down. 
However, Captain Berkeley (Grantley's brother) has stood by me, 
and now everytiiing is right, and not only right, but nothing could 
be better, and I have in my tavonr the opinion of every gentle- 
man I have been able to meet. A ^Mr. Fox, of Longford, Ireland, 







thon,^lit fifc to call mo the "birod mlvocato of rcliols." I iit once 
said be had asserted ti fnhrhood. The Speaker I'or the first time 
iu my life called lue to order, I retracted the word as reji'arded 
the House, hut iwl Ihr member, Mr. Fox ! Therefore he sends me 
a messat-e. I refer him to Berkeley, who tiiinks me quite ri^ht, 
and makes tl": man retract his assertion, and there the matter 
rests. I have the letters. The ministers i)ehaved like cowards, 
as they are, but I shall i^'aiii with the people, my best friends, as 
I find every minute. 

Junfi 2<», l«t',). — I find everybody of one niiiul respectini:^ 
these Irish rnllians, and the conspiracy beinj^ so plain, everybody 
thanks me for resistiut? tuem. I ^^et letters from every part of 
the country sayiui,' this. I dined here yesterday with Lord 
Malmesbury, an cxeeedin<;'ly a^'reeable j^'ood-natureil jK'rson. lie 
offered me his grandfather's jv.ipers for my "History." This is 
really valuable. Alfred Montgomery will let me see Lord Welleslcy's, 
so I get materials. To-morrow I shall bring forward the subject 
of Home. The introduction of the French ••■ is diabolical. 

London, Jane -J-J. — To-day brought me letters from Shellield 
full of thanks and praise for my opposition to the Irish. I am 
just going to bring on the Roman business. . . . The French 
conduct excites great disgust, and I am deternuned to give expres- 
sion to the general feeling. To-day is so fine that I feel in a 
state of misery at being a prisoner here. 1 dined yesterday with 
IJiokham Escott,t and met Cross the philosopher, and made him 
talk on his subject. He says if you put a sheet of lead on one 
side a pail, and a sheet of copper on the other, and connect them 
by a slip of copi)er or lead, and fill the pail with water, you may 
put a piece of meat therein, and it will keep sweet for months, 
but will lose its tastj in four days, lie says he is making cxjieri- 
ments in this line of inrpiiry, and is expecting great results. The 
conversation was amusing. 

London, June 2;», 1(S4'.). — My Roman ((ucstion has made a 
sensation. Reel, during the whole time of my si)eaking, was 

* Tho expetlitionivry forco '.vliich nttiickfd liomc in Hiippurt of tho Topr. 
Uoebuek uskeil whether EuglaiiJ hud oxprcssuil tliMnpprohatiou ? Lord 
Pulmeraton would uot hiiv more than that tiio ISritiah (.iuvurmuuiit hud uoeii 
the action of tho Knuch with j^irtiut regret. 

t M.P. for 'Winchester 1S41-47. Ho unsuccessfully cnntcsted Wodt 
Somerset, Westminster, Cheltuulimu, and I'lyuiouih. See p. 100. 

• ■ i 


> » I 





ostentatiously noisy in his clicers. lie sat forward so as to bring 
himself out from the row of persons on each side of him, and 
vehemently cheered me from the bej^inning. If the papers omit 
to mention this, they will jiass ovct one really marked incident of 
the scene. 

Loniloii, Jul II 12, 1840. — We had a dinner last night at Sir 
Joshua Walmsley's, with the leading Radicals . . . Hume, Mihier 
(Jibson, Charles Villiers (a lish out of water), Cobden, Bright, Rev. 
AV. J. Fox, and a Colonel Salwey. The object was to see if any 
combined system of action could be devised, and it soon became 
plain that, amongst these men, a leader or a system was impossible. 
Villiers came there to prevent any such result, ditto Milner 
Gibson. Cobden is a poor creature, with one idea — the making 
of county voters. He is daunted by the cor ' squires, and 
hopes to conquer them by means of these votes, kittle Fox . . . 
was about as much fit for a political chief as I am for a ballet 
dancer. The only man of metal and i)luck was Bright, the 
l)ugnacious Quaker. Walmsley himself is a well-intentioned, 
hard-headed man uf acturer. 

Lord Grey* has sent to me to talk with him on his colonial 
legislation. I shall ask him if his father left any ptipers he could 
let me see for my " History." . . . 

July l;>, 1H4!). — . . . For the first time this year I went to 
the Opera to see Grisi in the UtjonoUi, a most magnificent piece of 
acting. This was, however, after a piece of acting, most successful, 
too, of my own in " Hon. House." t 

I saw Lord Grey yesterday, who made it a favour not to oppose 
his Australian Bill. A word from me would have put an end to it. 

I mil be home next week. Everybody is fleeing, and 1 shall 
run away also. 

Mr. Roebuck did not, however, " run away " so soon as 
he had intended, for he was in his place up to within a 
day or two of the prorogation, taking active part in the 
debates. Thus, in cordially supporting a motion of Mr. 
Drummond's on the taxation and large expenditure of the 

* Secretary of State for the Colonies. 

t On Jlr. Aiistey's motion on illegal ordinances, or acts of Council for 
the taxatidn of tlu- people of Vhh Uienien's I^and, ami charges against tho 
Governor (Sir \V. Denisou) of utLouipting to iutimidatu the judges. 



country, and for inquiry into places, salaries, and establish- 
ments, ho said he would gladly support a Government 
that had vigour enough to carry out its own intentions ; 
but he could not give his support to those paltry, hesi- 
tating fears, that shrinking trouble, that self-deceit which, 
like the wild ostrich in the bush, concealed its head, and 
thought it concealed its body. If he could force out such 
a Government and force in a strong one, lie would willingly 
do so. He opposed a motion by Mr. Herries for a fixed 
duty on corn, and in a debate on the Russian invasion of 
Hungary, he vigorously attacked both Russia and France. 
He expressed approval of Lord Palmerston's conduct at 
the Foreign Office, but insisted that the moral power of 
England should be used to settle the dispute. War, he 
said, was a dreadful calamity, but there were calamities 
more dreadful. 

t J. 

>n as 
in a 

il for 
St tho 

To JLs. Roebuck. 

Januart/ 27, 1850. — The Tories, had they beeu wise, would 
have dropped Protection, taken the Colonies up, and have driven 
out the AVhigs at a blow.* 

Jdiuianj 31. — The affair t went off vciy well, though the 
getting there was a disagreeable journey. 

February 2. — . . . A fit of illness, brought on, Ellintson said, 
by cold ; Arnott, who was in the Temple with me, by an over- 
wrought mind. Perhaps both. It lasted all day. 

February 4, — The colonial affair is put off in the Commons 
till Friday. Tiie on dil, according to the Times, is mi adoption 
of my plan. 

February I). — The Government explanation X a,l)out the 
colonies was made last night. Lord .1. linssell spoke of the 

♦ A Protectionist amendment to the Adilrees was negatived in the Lords 
by 152 to 103, and in the Commons by 311 to lli2. 

t His first leisture at Salisbury. 

X On proposals for the better government of the Australian Colonies, and 
authorizing them to levy customs duties. Koebuck (Feb. 18) objected to 
giving tliem power to make constitutions for themselves. Ho wanted the 
Hi)U8(! not to devolve its authority, but to send out a maturotl plan which 
would at once place liberal institutions there. 


< II ■: 


m I 






consolation ho derived from the fact of mcmburs in that House 
haviiiff paid attention to that sul»jeot, and then mentioned 
Molesworth and myself. IMolesworth made an elaborate speech 
with oranges and handkerchiefs. . . . Lonjif after, I followed 
with a very short statement, that at once excited the House, 
and made a debate. Sir James Graham paid me compliments 
privately, Gladstone publicly, so did the speakers who followed me. 

1, Siniwj Gtinlonx, FrbriKn-i/ 1;-), lHr)0. — ... I am going to 
dine with Admiral Berkeley and Lady Charlotte to-night. I like 
him ; he was very staunch and friendly to me last year during 
the Irish row, and is really a good fellow. Peel's cheers to-day 
on my statement ^'' were peculiar — marked, and even vociferous ; 
and I feel that my last speech on tlio Ceylon affair has produced 
an effect. The canters of the Bright set will not like it ; but 
the common-sense of the country is with me. Edward EUico 
met me yesterday while he was walking with his daughter-in-law, 
and, after paying me all sorts of compliments, said, "Strange 
that these people " (we were in Downing Street) " could not do 
the thing, and should be indebted to you for doing what they 
ought, as a Government, to have done." I shall be glad to get 
into Chambers, as I shall be really able to work there, which I 
am not in my present state. 

Fehi-iKivij 14. — We had yesterday a brush in the House, and 
I took the opportunity of doing what I thought justice to the 
Colonial Office in the case of Ceylon.f Joseph Hume was at his 
wits' end because I objected to the nonsense he and others talk 
respecting our Government in the East. He accused me of 
being tyrannical, and made a most amusing scene. The Govern- 
ment had good reason to be greatly obliged to mo. This, how- 
ever, was not my object. All I desired was to see justice done. 

Fcbruaiff 28. — jMolcsworth has just started a crotchet — the 
strangest possible, viz. that the Crown cannot form a Colonial 
Government wiiuout representative constitutions — this in the 
teeth of all the Colonial Charters which have just been re- 

* In refutation of certain unfounded allogationa which sought to attribute 
to Mr. Roebuclc'rt relatives a share in tiic CauadiiUi rebellion. 

t The debate wua on February 11. Mr. Roebuck deprecated inquiry 
and interference. 

X Sir William jMoUsworths view is more i.ccurately stated in the Ilcv, 

I the 







March 4. — I have been all the early part of the day endea- 
vouring to make Rothsehild come to the stru5^2:le in the House of 
Commons to-moiTow. AVhat happens to-morrow depends chieHy 
on Mr. Speaker. 

When, in June, 1849, the Lords, according to their 
wont, threw out the Jewish Disabilities Bill, Baron 
Leopold de Rothschild resigned his seat, and appealed to 
his constituents of the City of London. They sent him 
back by an immense majority over Lord John Manners, 
his opponent. Roebuck pressed Rothschild to present 
himself at the table, and bring the question of tho oath to 
an issue, but the baron delayed, believing that the Govern- 
ment would take some action. It was not until July, 
1850, that, ministers still procrastinating. Baron de Roths- 
child went down and claimed to take his seat. At first 
the officials declined to swear him on the Old Testament, 
and a few days afterwards, having reconsidered this de- 
cision, his refusal to take the oath " on the true faith of 
a Christian" excluded him from the House. The long 
struggle for removing this disability continued until July, 
1858, when, eleven years after his first election. Baron de 
Rothschild at length took his seat. The long antagonism 
of the Lords had been overcome by a compromise. On tho 
occasion of the third reading, Mr. Roebuck had a final fiing 
at the Lords. " They had," he said, " written themselves 
down asses; after stating that a Jew was morally unfit 
to sit in Parliament, they had sent down a Bill by which 
Jews might be admitted. The Lords were always doing 
the same thing " (see their conduct on the Trent Corpo- 
ration Act, Catholic Emancipation, English and Irish 
Municipal Corporations, the Corn Laws, and so forth). 
" They had done a good thing in a foolish manner, and had 
cut a remarkable antic on this occasion. Ii; attempting 

W. N. Molcsworth's " History of England," vol, ii. p. .".")!), Oa tliia night 
Roebuck supportid Ilumo's motion in favour of IIousuliolJ Suft'rat,o and tiio 
Ballot. It was defeated by 212 to DC. 

i I 







to maintain its own dignity, the House of Lords had 
covered itself with dirt." 

March 0, IS'iO. — I have been all the morning with Lord Grey» 
at his invitation, talking over his Australian Bill. I was all last 
evening fighting the Irish IJill,* and I am now most popular with 
the Irish. They eanie to shake me by the hand with true Irish 
fervour, because of my advocacy, and I certainly forced Lord 
John to change his course in their favour during the night. He, 
as usual, got angry, and wanted to bounce, bub he could not. . The 
debate was a curious scene. 

Lord (Jrey spoke of my going Circuit, and sfronr/li/ adviml 
it. This was curious. Everybody seems of one mind on it, and 
all appear to take an interest in my favour, llow different this 
from the old times long gone by ! 

jl/urk 0. — I have ])een busy all day, and finished by making 
a speech in the House,! for which I have been rapturously 
ai)plaiulcd, David Dundas saying it was the best speech made 
this year ; Compton of Lyndhurst, the l)e8t he ever heard in 
the House ; and many otiiers to the same effect. Take all this 
for what it is worth. It means that I have placed their wishes 
and opinions before the world in a way exceedingly gratifying 
to them. I hear men now wishing that I was of their party, 
and intimating that if I was, I could lead. So I know I could ; 
but that is not possible. 

Yur/r, March 7. — I cannot help laughing when I think of the 
effect my speech of yesterday produced. To see all the old 
gravities of the House Hocking round me, to thank and praise 
me, to hear Mr. Speaker profuse in compliments, was quite a 
new thing, and amused me vastly. 

Cobden, I understand, answered me ; but I had left the House, 
having paired, and being obliged to prepare for my journey. He 
never told me that he was to reply. I have no idea of what ho 
said or how he met my arguments. The House was thin when 
I spoke ; had the speech been made towards the end of the 
debate, when the House was full, I sincerely believe it would 

* Parliaraontary Voters (Ireland) Bill. Roebuck struggled, in committee, 
to lower tlie fnmcliise. 

t Against Marriages (Deceased Wife's Sister) Bill, which, " if passed, 
would plant a thorn in the tide of almost every family." 








liavc afTcctud the division.* As Trelawiiy was opposed to my 

view, you will hear uU that is ajraiust me from , but you 

may trust me, the effect was remarkable, and by uo means to my 
iujury. I feel I am ri,i,'ht. 

March l;>, ls:)0. — I shall take up my quarters at 2, Cloisters. 
I shall also see Dundas, and discuss with him, who is really my 
friend, my views and prospects. From loni^ consideration of my own 
prospects I feel that I should prove an acquisition to the Ministry, 
if they choose to accept me frankly. The only ditHeulty lies in 
their aristocratic desire to destroy all who are not of them by 
blood ; and if they took me into their ranks they would wish to 
fonipel me to be an underling. This I will not submit to. Hut, 
looking to the condition of politics now, I could accept office with 
them, and make their Goverinnent the object of my support and 
defence. Heaven only knows whether they look at me with these 
eyes. The Hawes, Ward, aud Hayter tribe I cannot submit to 
join ; but if they will take me as one of themselves, I will join — 
and a powerful supporter in the House would be of use to them, 
if tiiey knew their own interests. 

Yoric, March 15, 1850. — I hear from Mills that the 
state of France is becoming alarming. The late Socialist returns 
for Paris have frightened the timid aud moderate in England, as 
we'I as in France. 

WoodsJoij, Lecih, March 10, IH.'jO. — As Lord Ashley is renew- 
ing his work as to the factories, I thought this a good oppor- 
tunity for learning what the manufacturing world think of the 
matter, and applied to some friends here for information. . . . Mr. 
Heaton has a passion for farming (lie is partner in a large woollen 
house), and took me to Mr. Eddison, who won the pig prizes last 
year for the large Yorkshire breed. He, Eddison, is a solicitor, 
and an admirer of mine. He gave me up the whole of yesterday, 
and so soon as I joined him in the morning began talking of 
my having resumed the circuit, stating how glad he was, and how 
glad his brethren were, and begged of me not to be disappointed, 
for that success was certain. (Well, we shall see.) We then went 
to various mills, and finished by meeting a party of the leading 
men at the Town Hall. Thence we took carriage, lunched at 

* The Bill WU8 in tlio cliarge of Jlr. Jumea Stunrt Wortlcy. The aeoond 
readinj? was carried by 182 to liJO. Tlio third rending wna aubscquently 
carried by H4 to li]4. 

, .1 J. 




Mr. Edtlisou's, wore joined by Jill's. Eddison, and drove out to 
their newly acquired farui, and there I saw the pi^^s. Thty 
are the larj^e breed. I measured thu boar with my stick ; ho 
was exactly twice as lonj; as it, and is by name Eniixiror ! 
We then looked at a tri[)* of a week old, and beautiful they 
are. Eddison says he will select the two best for me. From 
Mr. Heatou I got a beautiful boar of tiie small breed, and will 
keep it till the others are ready. Depend upou it, they are the 
perfection of the pig tribe, and I do not mean to be talked out 
of, my conceit. When they arrive, in about two months' time, we 
must try to make S. take an interest and pride in them. When 
they are a year and u half old, they will make the Hampshire lads 
open their eyes. 

Lreds, March 20, ls")(i. — I have to-day received another letter 
from Walmsley, who has certainly stirred up his friends, and they, 
being men of business, set to work in the right way, and in 
earnest. I was never more struck with the diiTerence between the 
habits of men of business and those of other men than now. 
The business man brings the habits of his working life into bis 
friendships, while our people, doing the same, think, wisli, ponder, 
hesitate, prophesy, and discourage — do everything, in short, but 
acl. But acting is just the very thing wanted. 

Liverjjool, April ;5, l.s.'iO. — The results of last night as far as 
regards myself were ludicrous enough. I was asked to speak 
after Lord Seftoii and Cardwell,t and I went to dine with the 
Sandbachs, Mrs. Sandbach being one patroness of the ball and 
Lady Sefton the other. . . . The dinner was pleasant. We 
laughed and talked, but the inexorable time had to be kept. We 
took can'iage, and drove into town, four miles. On arriving at 
the Town Hall, we found Lord and Lady f^eftou alone, nobody 
having arrived. The speaking was to be between eight and ten, 
and then the dancing was to begin. Cardwell, I found, was in an 
aviM/uii/Cy professedly because of the strange medley of politics 
in the town, and the consequent chances of giving offence. I 
said, " Why not put an end to the difficulty by beginning the 
ball at once ? Take liady Sefton, and let Lord Sefton, who 
doubtless knows how to dance, lead out ]\Irs. Sandbach ; bring 
the milit'.iry band upstairs and begin." This bold mode of 

* A litter of pigs (ITanipBliire dialect). 

t The lato Lord Cardwell, then M.P. for Liverpool. 




proceodin.f^ fritrlitcncd liira ; but lie kept lookini; at his watch, 
cxclainiiui,', " Well, the time is jroiiiij fast, and nobody is here." 
Sure enough nobody came. The two patronesses were seated to 
receive the young Liverpudlians, who came by ones, twos, and 
threes, absolutely boys and girls, some very nicely dressed, and 
some very queer figures. I whispered to Cardwell, " I think the 
best thing for me to do is simply to bolt." He said, " I wish to 
God you would," . . . and, having made my adieux, off I went ; and 
to this hour I do not know what occurred after. ]\Irs. Sandbach 
told me that they possessed two statues by Gibson, which she 
wished me to see, and I am going to-tlay, for I have heard jf 
these works, an " Aurora" and a " Hunter." 

Temple, April 18, 1S,")0. — Yesterday I was so occupied all day 
that I did not get home till after post time, ho you had no history 
of that day. But the TimcH will show you what I was doing — 
a long speech on the Education Bill,* of wliich speech I hear 
this morning very loud praises. I hope they are deserved. 

The affair of the Indian offices I take to have been a feeler. 
They are not vacant, and even if one of them was promised on 
the vacancy occurring, there would be no certainty, for the very 
existence of the Ministry is not worth three months' purchase. 
They evidently hope to silence rac, and place their gaudy flies 
before me, in the hope that I may bite, and, living ia hope 1 
shall live also in silence — or giving them support. This won't do. 
April 1!), 1850. — AVe had a great light in the House last 
night,t and at length I roused Peel from his lethargy, and we 
beat the Government, who supported Sir John Pakington in his 
attempt to give two justices of the peace the power in Petty 
Sessions to sentence men of sixteen to be flogged. We conquered 
at last, though the row was immense. To-night, very possibly, 
the House will reject Lord Grey's scheme for the xiustralian 
Colonies, that is, they may throw out the one chamber part of 
it.J I shall speak against that part of the scheme, though 

* Brought in by Mr. W. J. Fox, BI.P. for Oldham, to promote secular 
education. On the previous evening Roebuck liad spoken in favour of 
Mr. Milner Gibson's motion for tlie repeal of the paper duty. 

t On the Larceny Jurisdiction Bill. 

X Three phius were discussed — (1) a single chamber, one-third consisting 
of nominees of the Crown ; or (2) two chambers, one elective ; or (3) two 
chambers, both elective. I^Iolesworth and Roebuck were in favour of the 

\ 1 





without uny jvsix;rity, and I shall cndcnvour to oppose the sort 
of ruuniuff down of Lord Grev which seems the fashion. F 
thiuk him mistaken as to the difficulties in his way, but ho 
means well, and tliere is much to say in support of the scheme. 

The combination of parties is strange. First, there is Moles- 
worth and Co. ; Gladstone and his friends ; Adderley and that 
cli(|ue ; Dizzy and the Protectionists — and myself. 1 fancy Sii- 
James Graham also with us. Upon Peel much will depend. If 
lie declares in favour of the second chamber, the Ministry will 
be in a minority ; and as they have brought this scheme forward, 
they stand pledged to it. A defeat will, I suppose, break up the 
Administration. Still, tli'Tc is such a feeling of the impossibility 
of making another goveruinent — why this feeling is entertained 
I cannot tell — that many will support Government who do not 
agree with them. 

April 20, IHhO. — As I supposed. Peel saved the Government 
last night, but he did it after a shabby fashion ; he paired oflF in 
their favour. This was known to his followers, yet his son 
voted with us. The report of the debate is a very poor one, 
as always happens when a debate occurs in committee. I sincerely 
believe the speech I made was the best I ever made in the House, 
and certainly the most effective. It was well received on both 
sides. Keogh said to me, " I intended to follow you, but I was 
tldunted., for I did not dare rise after a speech which had produced 
such an effect upon the House." Dizzy threw to me a com- 
plimentary note as soon as I sat down. Molesworth even came 
to me eagerly to state that I had made an admirable speech. 

Of the fight of the night before, I have not met a man who 
has not praised ; all say that my opposition caused the defeat of 
the flogging scheme. 

The long conversation 1 have had with Dizzy has evidently 
worked on his mind. He feels his own false position, and he 
sees that we feel it. 

TiimUdj, April 24, 1850. — Yesterday slipped away before I 
thought of the time. You will see more in the papers than I can 
describe, though they give but a very imperfect conception of 
what occurs. Last night the discussion on the Australian Bill 
came on again, and very nearly all my suggestions were attended 
to. Sir James Graham standing up manfully for one of thorn, i.e. 
my i)lan of defined and narrow limits for each colony. One 





re I 
,, Lc 

curious thinjj occuiTod. Evelyn Dcnisou iiskod mc to sj)oak on 
tlio subject of waste lauds ; uiy plan alone referred to waste lands. 
Well, Sir James Graham adopts, praises, and presses my view. 
Thereupon E. Denison speaks of it as the plan and proposal of the 
Riirht Hon. Baronet, leaviui,' mc out altoj^ether. This was the old 
AVlii^ fashion, but now it will not do. Lord John was obli>jed to 
be civil, and attend to me, because the House stands by nie. The 
reijrn of insolence, as far as I am concerned, is over. Lord John 
yielded to my sugt^estions, and said, as far as he could judge, that 
my statement was fair and wise, and if 1 would consent, he would 
see my suggestions embodied in words to be brought up in the 

April 27, IS.'jO. — There seem to be many intrigues and 
endeavours to soften and to silence me in the House, but they 
have not yet taken the right way. 

2, Clohkrs, Temple, M(tij :>, iSoO. — Last night we had a grand 
scene of confusion in the House, the attorneys and barristers 
being concerned.! I said my say, and I almost fear to go into 
Westminster Hall, as my brethren ai'c very angry when they hear 
the truth. The confusion was the result of the position of the 
^Ministry. They arc too weak to manage the House. 

Maij ?>. — Lord Hrougham says he will not leave Paris bef(jre 
to-morrow, because he insists that there will be a revolution — why, 
he does not say. I do not think that his expectations will be 
realized. There is no cause for a disturbance, unless the small 
clique of people who wish exclusively to govern France determine 
to create a row in order to get rid of a popular chamber. Unfor- 
tunately, there are not many persons in France who know what 
is intended by, " Government." 

* Throughout the proceedings in committee, Sir. Roebuck was ceaseloaa 
in his endeavours to alter the details of the Bill ; and oven on tho motion for 
the third reading, he seconded an amendment of Sir. Gladstone's in favour of 
withholding further sanction until the colonics should have had opportunities 
of considering the measure, because of the numerous provisions requirinjj 
tho interference of the authorities at home, and the desirability of reducing 
occasions for interference. IMr. Gladstone and Mr. Roebuck acted as tellorit, 
and they were defeated by a majority of 98. When the Bill came back from 
the Lords (August 1) with amendments, Mr. Roebuck entered his final 
•' most solemn and earnest protest " against it. 

t The County Courts Extenslou Bill. Blr. Roebuck, resisting strong 
professional pressure, protested against abuses of the fee system. 





^f(n| (J. — I Imve Vk'C'U till diiy at work on my jn'oposctl report 
oil TiuLoii. It grows under my Imiid ; it may be iutorcsting, aud 
show somctliins? of tlio actiml law of liengal. 

Mil!/ -'M, is"»(). — Every tiling is in a most prosperous state. 
The Navi;:ation Laws repealed, and such freights as never were 
seen. Corn Laws repealed, and an overflowing e.\chc(|uer. Pro- 
tection is done for. 

Wt'diimff'i/, Juno r.), lHr»0. — We arc in ft regular row. On 
arriving liere on ilonday, I learned from Frank Mills that the 
Stanley pui'ty wore resolved to attack Palmerstou in the Lords,* 
jiiid that they wure sure of a majority. The Government people 
did not (jiiili' believe this, and, as the night wore on, the doubt 
became every moment greater. "What would be the result no one 
knew. I found Graham and the young Peelites in the gallery of 
the Jiords, all excited. This proved that the Peelitc party were 
no longer willing to support the Government. I went away, tired 
of the debate, and found next morning .-jy majority against 

. Up to four o'clock p.m. they [the ]\Iini8try] have not resolved 
on their line of conduct. I gave notice this morning that I 
should ask to-morrow what line of conduct they intend to pursue, 
and I have offered them to move an approbation of Palmerston. 
If they shirk from this, they must go out ; for it is quite impossible 
for them to remain with this slap in the face. They are reduced 
to nonentities in Europe by it ; so, if they are not willing to try 
the House of Commons, I will compel them. I think they will 
accept my offer. I am going to a public dinner at which young 
Stanley presides. This is funny enough. 

Thursildii, June '!(), 1.S.J0. — I am to ask Lord John my 
question [What course the Ministry intend to pursue] this 
evening, and he will answer it. ... I then give notice that 
to-morrow I move an approbation of Palmerston's policy. This 
will bring the matter before the House of Commons. If the 
Administration have not a good majority, which is very doubtful, 
out they must go. 

Lord John Russell's answer was that the Ministry in- 
tended to do nothing at all — virtuall}' to ignore the adv' so 

* Motion by Lord Stanley, censuring the Government f( 
ference in the affairs of Greece. 








■ the 




vote in the Lords. Thereupon Mr. lloebuck gave notice 
of this motion : " That the principles which have hitherto 
regulated the foreign policy of her Majesty's Government 
are such tus were required to preserve untarnislied the 
honour and dignity of this country, and in time of un- 
exampled difficulty, the best qualified to maintain peace 
between England and the various nations of the world." 

June 21. — The jmpers will tell you what has happened, and 
the plan adopted. Xext Monday I may possil)Iy have enacted 
the part of the ministers' siiviour. lint there is a great division 
of opinion among all parties. The jieace jjentry — Cohden and 
Briijht — blame Palmerston's warlike proceeding's. The Pcclites 
do not know what to bo at. Who would have supposed that I 
ahonld ever stand in this relation to the Whigs I 

To-morrow I shall not be able to write, according to the new 
plan of post-office proceedings,* which are beginning to succeed 
admirably ! The hnnibuirs have been regularly bitten. 

Tuesdmf, June 25, 1H50.— I could tell you nothing yesterday, 
for I spoke from five to half-past seven. The post was gone. 
I received on all sides great compliments, and I enclose Delano's t 
few words, which, as he is a violent partisan, speak volumes. 
Many men said it was the best speech they had heard me make. 
The attention of the House never flagged, and for two hours I 
had them completely in band. The respect shown by all parties 
is the marked and peculiar feature of their conduct towards me. 
Thoroughly have I conquered insolence and prejudice in that 
House. There are many errors in the report — many side hits, 
and all the acting necessarily left out. The result is very doubtful. 
I may have a majority, but to be of any use it must be a large 
one. If they (the ministers) go out, a combination so-called 
Liberal Ministry will come in ; and Graham, who made a most 
powerful attack, \i\ evidently playing for the leadership, for which, 
with all his ability, I fancy him unfit. 

Wednesday, June, l^oO. — Last night Palmcrston made his 
defence, speaking four hours and a half. The speech was by 

* Stopping Sunday collections and deliveries of letters. 

t The Editor of the Times. The speech referred to was that in which 
Mr. Roebuck moved hia resolution approving of the foreign policy of the 


'■ I 




far tue finest effort of oratory I have ever heard iu that House. 
He spoke without a note, (luotin^^ dates thronj^hout with perfect 
accuracy, readinfif only one or two papers, preservins^ his temper, 
using not one liard word, saying no one thing that any man 
could compliiin of — keeping the attention of all unbroken fi-om 
the first moment to the last, and at times risiiig to the very 
height of a reasoning and impassioned oratory, in :ihort, it was 
a great speech. 

Thurfida//, June 27. — ... No news to-day. The eyes of 
every one are directed to the House of Commons, and the only 
quostion now heard is. What will the division be ? The House 
and country only wish to hear Poul, Lord John, and Dizzy ; all 
others arc only bores. The facts are all now known, and the 
result is impatiently desired. ... I find myself taking a front 
rank in the House, and acknowledged by all to deserve that 

Frklaij, June 2.S. — A stupid debate occupied the whole of 
last night. I shall leave this to-morrow for homo ; I am tired, 
and not well. 

June 2s. — The queen was attacked and xtrurk yesterday.* 
You will see the accounts. I am exceedingly grieved for this. 
The hoiTible insecurity which might be created in hor mind by 
these dastardly and cruel brutalities may do her harm. Simply 
looking at her as a young mother, my blood boils when I. behold 
such things. IJrougham is talking about going to America this 

The sight of him among the Yankees would be worth 

The Pacificc debate ended in a majority for the Govern- 
ment of 4G in a House of 574 on the morning of Juno 2!). 
As the sun was rising, Mr. Roebuck and Sir David Dundas 
walked away together towards the Temple. In front of 
them was Sir Robert Peel, and Sir David, lookinc; at him, 
said, " 1 consider that man to be the happiest in England 
at this moment, for he has just voted with his party, and 
yet also in accordance with his own feelings and opinions." 
A few hours after. Sir Robert Peel was thrown fiom his 

* By Robert Pate.lato lieutenant in the 10th Hussars. He was sentenced 
to seven years' penal servitutio. 



horse on Constitution Hill, receiving injuries from which 
he died on July 2. 

Mr. Roebuck, havinfj left town for Hampshire early that 
same morning, did not learn what had happened until two 
days later; and when the Times containing the news 
arrived, he brought it to Mrs. Roebuck, who was in the 
garden, saying to her, " I have some very bad news, which 
you will be sorry to hear. Sir Robert Peel has met with 
an accident which, I fear, will kill him." He then read 
the account, and was much distressed at the tragic 

In the garden at this moment a swarm of bees was 
about to be hived, or, locally, " potted." This was still in 
the days of straw skeps. A short time afterwards, Mrs. 
Roebuck remarked to Turner — the man who hived the 
bees — that the last swarm did not prosper, owing probably 
to its being a very late one. The answer was, " No, ma'am ; 
I never did think those bees would thrive, for just as I 
was going to pot them, master came into the garden and 
read some bad news about that gentleman, who died after- 
wards of the accident." 




To Mrs. Rocburk. 

Wednesday, Julij 1(», 18."»(). — I find it very diflicult to preserve 
what you call a rational course. Last night, or nitlier this morn- 
ing, I did not get to bed till four o'clock, and was iiwake hy half- 
past seven, hreakfasted with Frank 3Iills by nine, was with John 
Abel Smith at ten in IJelnravc Square. At tiirco, I am to meet 
Sir John Dodsou in consultation, in the mean time I have to 
indite a letter to Palmerston. At six I dine with Mills, and at 
nine I start for York. Now, what say you to rationality ? 

I gave the House last ni<,'ht a jiieci' of my mind aneut the 
post-otlice. The report is but a faint shadow of what was said, 
and what occurred. The House cheered to the echo, aud, in fact,, 
rescinded the former rcoolution [stoppinuc the Sunday delivery of 
letters]. Lord John played false, aud rou'ularly i.oiu poor Locke. 
... AH this disgusts his party ; aud so futui is the ellect of such 



conduct, that, were this the beginning instead of the end of the 
session, the Ministry would not last a month. Dizzy and Glad- 
stone see office dancing before their eyes, and are like two kings 
of Brentford. Dizzy wins, I bet. 

The world here is out of joint. Peel's death has put all things 
wrong ; and the ministers are hurrying to a close, in the dread of 
such a defeat as will drive them to resign. 

The rescinded resolution was one for the presenta- 
tion of an Address to her Majesty, praying that the col- 
lection and delivery of letters in all parts of the kingdom 
might cease entirely on Sundays. This motion was 
proposed and carried against the Government in the House 
of Commons by 93 to 68 votes on May 30, 1850, by Lord 
Ashley. On June 10 her Majesty assented to the request 
of the Address, and the post-office directed that no inland 
letters rior foreign correspondence should be carried on 
Sundays ; but the inconvenience suffered by the public was 
so great that in a month's time the matter was again 
brought before the House of Commons, with the result that 
the Sunday delivery was at once resumed. 

To the Rev. J. Maclean. 

Milton, Christchurch, Hants, April, 1850. — Your letter of the 
15th ult. I have only read to-day, as, during my absence on circuit, 
none of my London letters were sent to me. I hope you will be 
so kind as to excuse what has been only an apparent and not a 
real neglect of your letter. I am sorry to say that I cannot accede 
to your request. I do not believe that communication by post 
during Sunday is at all mischievous. None appreciates more 
highly than I do the advantages to be derived from the rest of 
the Christian Sunday, which, in my mind, bears no relation 
whatever to the Jewish Sabbath. As a Christian, I treat the 
Sunday as a feast day, in the true and proper appreciation of the 
word ; and by judicious application of labour on that day, we 
render it what it was intended to be— a day of quiet, rest, peace, 
and happiness ; and I can imagine a thousand cases in which 
much labour, care, anxiety, and misery would be saved — and in 
fact, are saved — by letters being delivered on the Sunday. And 



[ of the 
i Glad- 
Qt kings 

11 tilings 
dread of 

bhe col- 
)n was 
3 House 
by Lord 
> inland 
ried on 
blic was 
s again 
ult that 

2r of the 


will be 

id not a 

bt accede 

[by post 

38 more 

rest of 

I relation 

reat the 

h of the 

lay, we 

I, peace, 


-and in 


because I believe this, I cannot consent, witli my present lights 
and opinions, to adopt your view of the subject. 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

GilUnff Ctttitlp, Novpmhcr 1, IHOD. — I am somewhat better, 
thou'jjh still not well. Wo wont yesterday to see Castle Howard, 
and the cold of the empty house chilled me into absolute discom- 
fort and illness. The pictures are poor — one celebrated, the 
Marys by Carracci — a collection of red-eyed, red-nosed, ugly old 
women. The Ciistle is a stupid, heavy-looking thing by Van- 
burgh ; not a good room in it. The woods and tiie p:irk beautiful. 
Nature when left alone has done great things. 

I'emplc, Novembpr 13, 1850. — I really hope that my case will 
come on to-morrow, but am far from sure. In the mean time I go 
on steadily with my book,* and have the great assistance of a file 
of the yV^w^.s- in our — the Temple — library, in which — the 'Times, 
I mean — I find some curious things. From the Parliamentary 
debates, I was led to suspect that there were intrigues with 
Brougham while chancellor, during the very heat of the Reform 
fight, and that the unti-Reform party hoped that he would desert 
Lord Grey, and join *heir pra'ty ; and I find in the Times a broad 
assertion that the king distinctly asked Brougham to remain 
chancellor when Lord Grey resigned in iMay, 1832. I should like 
to know if the king di<l make such a request ; I will ask B., but 
unless I can get letters and papers written at the time, I cannot 
trust his memory. I shall endeavour to obtain a sight of Peel's 
papers, but Cardwell will, I fear, not aid me. 

* " History of tho Whig Ministry." 










The "Papal Aggression" — the popular name given to 
the Pope's action in establishing a Romish hierarchy in 
England — set the country in a blaze in the closing months 
of 1850. Lord John Russell's famous missive to the Bishop 
of Durham drew from Mr. Roebuck an angry letter of 
protest, directed against what he regarded an unwise and 
unstatesmanlike favouring of " detestable intolerance," all 
the more censurable as violating those principles of civil 
and reli gious liberty for which Lord John and the party 
he led had aforetime fought. 

To Mrs. Roehuclc, 

December G, 1850. — I find that I cannot get away to-morrow. 
I have to-day one of my headaches, and I believe in this case it 
is attributable to a horrible fog, as yellow as ochre, and as thick 
as mud. My letter [to Lord John Russell] has created a sensation. 
The papers are furious, and yet feeble. Fisher,* my proposer 
at Sheffield, one of the most respected men in the town, sent me 
a letter of eager, hearty thanks. Thinn met me to-day, saying. 
We all think with you, though we have not yet the courage to say 
so openly. 

The session of 1851 was largely occupied by struggles 
over the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, diversified by a Minii;- 
terial crisis consequent on the resignation of the Russell 

* Mr. William Fislirr, <bo father of Mr. Encbuclj's eubgequent election 
chairman. Both father and sun were tried and true friends. 



iven to 
rchy in 
3 Bishop 
etter of 
vise and 
,nce," all 
I of civil 
le party 

is case it 
as thick 
sent me 
ge to say 




it election 

Ministry on Mr. Locke King's County Franchise Bill, 
following the narrow majority by which a Protectionist 
motion of Mr. Disraeli's had been defeated. But, other 
combinations failing, Lord John Russell and his colleagues 
resumed office. Mr. Roebuck's * records of this year, as 
Mrs. Roebuck was in or near London the greater part of 
the summer, are exceedingly scanty. In the debates on 
the Address, and on the various stages of the Ecclesiastical 
Titles Bill, he reiterated his censures on Lord John Russell 
for " lending the sanction of his great name to the puri- 
tanical bigotry of England." He took no part in the 
divisions on the first and second readings, but he sedulously 
fought the Bill in its progress through committee. 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

Temple, March [IS], \^h\. — After I wrote yesterday wo had a 
little scrimmage, in which I rolled Dizzy over, quite to my own 
satisfaction.t I am to see Edward EUice this afternoon about 
Lord Grey's letters, and I understand that they want to know 
if I would take a Master in Chancery's place. Asfain, they want 
to get me out of the House, and, sooth to say, I am not quite sure 
that I should say no, if the thing were offered, so changed am I, 
so completely conquered. I cannot bear this horrible isolation. 
Were 1 twenty years younger, I should feel differently, but I 
cannot keep myself at work when away from you.J 

Temple, March 22, LSol. — Lord Grey endeavours to intimidate 
me by threatening an injunction to prohibit my book.§ He 
claims a property in his father's letters, and as he is going him- 
self to publish them,|| wishes to prevent my giving to the world 
Lord Grey's opinion of Brougham. ... I said also that the 
Whigs were the most consummate detractors that ever existed. 

* Wliile at Bushey, in Hertfordshire, Mr. Roebuck had a short but sharp 
attack of illness, from which he recovered slowly. 

t On proposed censure on Lord Torrington's Ceylon Administration. 

X At tliis time Mrs. Roebuck had to remain at Ashley Arncwood to watch 
over nlVairs there. 

§ "Tho Whig Ministry of 1830," which was published early in 1852. 

II "Correspondence of Earl Grey with King "William IV." London 
John Murray, 18G7. 

( < 

• I 





That their ability in whispering away a character was wonderful, 
and that now that I had an opportunity of exhibitinj? the utter 
falsehood of many things said by them with respect to Brougham, 
nothiug should deter me from making use of it. He repeated 
his threat of an injunction, which I told him I was quite pre- 
pared to meet, and would myself argue it before the Lord Chan- 

In a debate on our treatment of the Kaffirs, Mr. Roebuck 
enunciated views on the annihilation of aborigines which, 
often reiterated, exposed him to frequent animadversion. 
The extirpation of the coloured man by the white was, he 
held, the inevitable consequence of colonial expansion. 
He defended Lord Torrington's policy in Ceylon against 
Mr. Baillie's proposition that the punishment inHicted 
during the disturbances was excessive and uncalled for. 
His old attacks on electoral corruption were renewed in 
connection with occurrences at St. Albans and Falkirk 
burghs, and he supported Mr. Cobden's motion directed 
towards arranging with France a policy of reduced arma- 
ments. A Sunday Trading Prevention Bill was the signal 
for a renewal of his accustomed assaults on Sabbatarians. 
Throughout the session he lost no opportunity of girding 
at Lord John Russell's Ministry for its impotence, and for 
the fashion in which, without power, it clung to office. 
In May, Mr. Hume had carried against the Government 
a motion limiting the operation of the property tax to one 
year, and, a few days after, a resolution by Lord Maas on 
home-made spirits in bond was carried against them by 
the casting vote of the Speaker. On this Mr. Roebuck 
taunted Lord John Russell with having submitted to 
defeat four times — Mr. Locke King's County Franchise 
motion, and a question relating to the Management of 
Woods and Forests, making, with those just mentioned, the 
quartette. He wanted to know what the Government in- 
tended to do, and how much longer Lord John Russell 
meant to submit to such a state of things ? The Liberal 






leader made a spirited reply — as, indeed, was his wont 
when subjected to Mr. Roebuck's frequent plain speaking. 
From the 8th of July to the end of the session (8th of 
August) the Parliamentary chronicles give no trace of Mr. 
Roebuck's attendance. Although he spoke on a minor 
question on the former date, he took part neither in the 
debate nor in the division on Mr. Berkeley's motion in 
advocacy of the ballot. It would appear from the follow- 
ing letter that Mr. Roebuck was partly at Ashley Arne- 
wood and partly on circuit. 

Thomas Dunn ( Sheffield) to J. A. llocbuch. 

Richmond Hill (S/ieffield), Aur/usf 17, 1 «."»!. — I Lave not heard 
from you since you left York, but hope siucercly you are pretty 
well over the awkward accident you had with your doi^s. Few 
persons are more fond of dogs than I am, but I confess I should 
not like to be bitten even by one of my own dogs.* I think in 
the last note I had from you, you rather hinted that you should 
be at Liverpool at the Assize. That will be, 1 suppose, some 
time this week. Now, you will, I dare say, have got an iuviUition 
to the annual dinner of the Cutlers' Company on September 4, 
which I hope you will be able to attend, and the more so as you 
were not there last year, and 'tis possible, I suppose, if not probable, 
that before the dinner comes round agaiu wo may have a general 
election, and I am sure I need not tell you that corporate bodies 
are very sensitive on these httle matters. So 1 hope very sincerely 
you will be able to accept the invitation. 

Mr. Roebuck did accordingly attend the Cutlers' feast. 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

Tuesday, January 27, 1852. — 1 had an amusing journey up 
with the Mackinnons. He was on his way to town to publish 
his notes on America, lie is very full of tbe Yankees, and 
swears that they will in ten years ride over us and everybody. 
This is too short a term, I guess. Among other advantages 

* It was not Lis own dog, but a Xew foundland belonging to Mr. G. J. 
Graham, which, while pliiyiug ruuud Mr. Houbuuk, accidentally caught his 
band and slightly bit it. 





resulting from his journey to America, is the sharpening of the 
wits of his boys. This effect he attributes chiefly to the clear- 
ness and dryness of the atmosphere I 

To Mrs. Eoehitck. 

ThursiUn/. — I dined yesterday with the Rothschilds, and went 
thence to Lady John Russell's — mighty civil all of them— and 
to-day I find a card from Lady Granville for Wednesday next. 
]\Iy book will, I hope, be ready on Monday. 

Some days later, he encloses a review of the " Whig 
Ministry " with the comment, " I am certain that whoever 
wrote this article, never read the book." 

Years after, this judgment was confirmed by Mr. Shirley 
Brooks, the author of the article in question. He de- 
scribed to Mr. Roebuck how, on coming home late from 
some dinner, he found awaiting him the two volumes of 
the " History," with an urgent note requesting an immediate 
review. " I was tired and was very cross at having to 
Avrite instead of going to sleep. I read the first chapter 
and but little more. I cannot say that I really read the 
book at all." 

To Mrs. Rophuclc. 

Fvhrvanj 10, 1852. — ... I have seen oil sorts of people. 
Edward YAMcq asked me on Tuesday to dine and meet J. Romilly. 
The others, Thiers and Duvergier de Ilauninne, Gronfell, M.P., 
and liyng, made the party agreeable, and we had some good 
talk, especially with Keppel — Lord Albemarle, I mean — who in 
his manner to me was quite affectionate ; there is no other word 
to describe it. The next morning I breakfasted with Monckton 
lililnes, where Thiers was, and Van de Weyer, Cardwell, and 
others— pleasant people, very good convei-sation. Thiers' voice 
the strangest ; it is a sort of wheeze, like the sighing of wind 
through a keyhole. Van de Weyer was more aniusing. The two 
appeared like the French and Belgian Thiers. 

Last night I went to Lady Granville's, and saw — whom did I 
not see 1 I met Sir James Graham, who came to me with, " Oh, 

I It 



10 ill 
le two 

did I 
" Oh, 


the historian," and thcrcnpon txprcsst'd his fxreat admiration, 
sayinfT, " You have in a very diffienlt matter steered with preat 
judgment and firmness." Edward Ellice says that Hrougham 
goes about saying the " History" is not correct, and not given with 
his authority. Whereupon ElHce said to some one standing by, 
when Brougham was gone, " Now, Hrongham really thinks ho is 
telling the truth ; but Roebuek is right, and he has related what 
Brougham has told him ! " 

To-night I dine with , and go afterwards to Lady Truro's. 

There will, however, l)e a sharp brush in the House about 
Clarendon, whom I shall support. 

On February 20 Lord Palmerston, who had retired 
from the Foreign OHice in the previous December, 
in consequenoo of the disapproval of his independent 
methods by the (jueen and Prince Albert, gave Lord John 
Russell his " tit for tat " by carrying an amendment against 
the Government's Militia Bill ; and the Ministry at onco 

To JIfs. Rofiburk. 

Sdiunia//, February 21,1 S02. — Well, they are out. Palmei-ston 

has had an early revenge. As for myself, I was dhiing witli , 

and on my return, found the House up and the business dono, so 
I pei'sonally had no hand in the killing. Nevertheless, I am glad 
my prophecy has proved true. Lord Derby will now take the 
Government ; we shall have realities to deal with, and great prin- 
ciples really discussed. \\\ addition, an immediate ehjetion I 
fancy inevitable ; and I find there is to be a contest for Shelheld, 
in which I wish to take but a small part, and expense to any extent 
I will not hear. If I find my chance small, I will not stand, but 
accept the offer of the Tower Hamlets. I find Dunn * in alarm 
for Parker. . . 

I cannot very well quit town to-day, as Monday afternoon 
will be important, and I want to-night to see all the world at 
Lady I'almerston's. 

Fcbrudri/ 'l'.\. — I write early in the day, not knowing wlrit the 
imstle of the afternoon may be. To-night Lord .John formally 

* Cluiirnmn of Mr. Roebuck -■ election committee. Mr. John Purlvor was 
Rocbuck'd colleague in the represcntution of ShefBeld. 


I ii imW 



nnnoimccs his resii;nfttion, and yon will see by tho pftpcrs tliat 
Lord Derby is in. IIu (Lord Derby) has long since had his 
Cabinet ready, and he is to propose ii live-shillin<; duty on corn — 
tho very thinj? which I desire of him, us this will make our oppo- 
sition clear, and a matter easily to be umlersLood. Notliinj,' iiaii 
bo done for a week or more. Tlie new writs must bo moved, and 
the returns made, so that if nothinj,' especial happens I shall leave 
town for home to-morruw. The crush at Lady Palmerston's was 
enormous. I nearly fainted from the stilling heat and niy giddi- 
ness, which has returned. 

LphIs^ JIanh i). — I am now doing well, and gaining strength 
rapidly. "What of late I have suffered most from is an extra- 
ordinary nervous uucomfortableness iu my hands and feet. This 
at times during the night has been almost beyond endurance ; how- 
over, this is diminishing, and all day long I have been free from it. 

We know nothing as yet about what is to bo done about a 
Ministry. For my own part, I cannot see the difficulty, if Lord 
John {/'(IS j)}(t on onr side ; but Lord John Russell's carriage stops 
the way, and his tenacious hold of power makes all the difficulty. 

London, March 14, \>>')'l. — You will see by the papers what 
occurred yesterday. The meeting * was Whig, and the object of 
it plainly to bring back the late Administration ; but, in spite of 
the supposed unanimity, this scheme will not succeed. Nothing 
will be done till Monday, when Lord John will begin his game of 
opposition ; and I, for one, do not intend to follow him as a 
leader, or aid in bringing back the late imbecile Administration. 
The scene was a very curious one in Chesham Place, and to one 
accustomed to Whig policy, very significant. I think, however, 
a very Uttle more will checkmate Lord John. 

March, 1852. — Last night I was asked to stand for Ghisgow, 
with promises of certain success ; but this is impossible, and I do 
not believe that any place will bo safer, or more comfortable, than 
Siieffield. I suppose that I am doomed to bo opposed always. 

A few (lays after this Mr. Roebuck spoke in support of 
a motion of Mr. Hume's in favour of manhood suffrage and 

* Of Liberals, at Lord John Russell's house in Cheshnm Place, where it 
was resolved to compel the now Government to make a full declaration of ita 
policy. Busaell he held to be "weak, narrow-minded, obstinate and 







the ballot, and in the following month, in one of the dis- 
cussions on the Militia Bill, he caused some sensation by 
bluntly calling it a measure of defence necessitated by the 
jealousy of the French pcoi)le — ^jealousy of which a bad 
man miglit take advantage, and a bad man (President 
Napoleon) was in power. 

In a debate relative to the Kaffir War he reiterated, 
with sundry hits at "Exeter Hall," his belief in the law 
that the black man must disappear before the white, and 
he insisted that England must choose between a recognition 
of this fact and the abandonment of her colonies. 

To Wm. Fisher {Sheffield). 

April 1, 1852. — I feel confident that when you have seen and 
heard me, and are not dependent upon report, you will come to 
the conclusion that hard words are not omployod by mo, and thut 
the petulance and acerbity so freely attributed to mo are creatures 
of the imagination of those who wish to find fault, with me. 

The work of the coming election began a few days 
after this. At a large open-air meeting in Sheffield, Mr. 
Roebuck was shown to be the more popular of the two 
niembera, the vote for Mr. Parker indicating that, although 
Mr. George Hadfield had been brought into the field 
ostensibly against Mr. Roebuck, it was Mr. Parker's seat 
which was in the greater danger. The Conservatives 
sought to take advantage of the Liberal split by running 
Mr. William Overend, Q.C. 

To Mrs. Roebw'k. 

Fridaif, May 5. — I had resolvod to ^o to Sheflield next 
Monday, Dunn sendinsr for us ; but I find that on that day we 
are to have a grand battle with tho Govenunont, on the question 
of what to do with the seats vacant by the disfranchisoment of St. 
Albans and Sudbury. The Peelites oppose Dizzy's proposal,* 
and there is to be a grand field day. 

* To assign the four scats for Sudbury and St. Albans to the West Riding 
of Yorkshire atid the Southern Division of Lnupashiri'. Tho propoaal was 
negatived by 234 to 148, Mr. Gladstone leading tho attack. 








I Imvo socn tlio Aiimtuiir Wntor Colours. Miss lUivkc I think 
quite e(|ual to any of the |>r()fi,'.ssioniils ; Mis. Uridunuin Siinpsoii 
very cxcollt'iit, iiiid iilso Miss Koniiion. In fact, I was very nmcli 
surprisud Ity tlio exallfiKT of tlu; i.'xlubition. I wont to the Itoyul 
Aciiduuiy, uiid likod oiio or two tliini,'3 amonf,' u multitude of 
dunlts. Winterhaltcr lias sent u picture painted for tiie queen, 
whitih is Very l)eiiutiful, and some of Stanstield's are excellent ; 
lioherts' interiors liner than any I ever saw ; ^laelisc simply 

Tiirsihn/, Mitij '.), ls:t2. — On Sunday I was at Unsliey, and 
passed a pleasant, eliatty day with William [Falconer, his brother- 

The (rovernment were beaten last ni<,'ht, but the division was 
called for so suddenly that no s|)eakinf( was possible, and I was 
dining' with Fairbiiirn, intendini,' to run back and have my say. 
I 8oui,'ht no pair. The dissolution now must occur immediately. 

I went to see the Water (Joloui's. The exhibition is not a j];ood 
one, and Ricihardson's jjjrcat drawini; (Fairbairn's) does not please 
me so much as I thou<,'ht it would. The trick of cuttinj^ the 
paper, and substitutini? one sort for another, and thus makinij a 
mark rijjht across the picture, is mere (piackery, and docs not, in 
my opinion, aid the eifect of the drawini^. 

In May the fight at Sheffield was in full swing, all the 
candidates addressing numerous meetings. Mr. Roebuck, 
although feeble and in bad health, had a hard week, 
delivering sometimes three speeches a day. 

To Jfrs. Bopburk. 

Sheffield, May 18, 1852. — My week's work is nearly at an end. 
Onr meetings have gone off well, and I am told that the canvass 
places me at the head of the poll. ... I dined yesterday with 
one of my most staunch supportere, and found a pretty, neat 
house, well appointed in every way, and a very excellent dinner, 
over which good taste presided ; the hostess, a quiet, rather 
pretty woman, at her ease. There being an absence of all 
affectation or pretension, and a strong dose of sound common 
sense manifest throughout, the affair was agreeable. The smoke 
is the great enemy of comfort, but the house I was in yesterday is 









f all 



lay is 

nearly free from th:it evil ; and roally that ((Uiirtcr is pretty and 

After this labour Mr. Roolmck returned to his homo in 
Hampshire in a very exhaustcMl condition. Even then 
rest was denied him, for two days after his arrival n 
mossago came from London, askin^j fur his presence and 
advice concerning liaron Lionel ll(»tlischild's election 
address to the ('ity of London. He wont immediately to 
town, to Mrs. Roebuck's distnjss, and returned the same 
evening ill, a slight attack of paralysis having come on 
during the journey home. Tho mischief was not great, 
and might soon have been overcome, had not tho old- 
fashioned prescription of leeches to tho head been applied 
before Dr. R. W. Falconer could arrive to prevent it. Ho 
was greatly annoyed at this barbarous proceeding. The 
result was that the nerve powers were lowered still more, 
and double vision ensued. 

The dissolution of Parliament did not take place imtil 
July. During the closing weeks of tho session Mr. Roe- 
buck was unable to bo in his place. And although he 
took no further part in the active work of his own tight, 
he attended the final scene of the Shettiold election, when 
he was returned at the head of the poll l)y a majority of 
239. But he lost his old colleague, Mr. John Parker, who, 
after holding the seat for twenty years, was defeated by 
Mr. Hadfield by 9.73 votes. 

The rest of the summer was passed at Ashley Arnewood, 
where the pure aii and quiet did much towards restoration 
of health; but the double vision continued, and put an 
end for ever to the favourite pursuit of water-colour 
drawings. This was a great privation, but however deeply 
felt, no complaint was ever heard, for though anxious and 
eager for improvement in health, it was a rule of life with 
Mr. Roebuck never to indulge in useless repining over 
what could not be altered or removed. To this rule he 
owed much tranquillity of mind, never more needed than 



at this period of his life, when illness came seriously to 
hinder progress and success in his pu'^iic career. 

The return of health being slow, he became wishful for 
London advice. Unfortunately, there his case was utterly 
mistaken. The wise and gentle treatment of over-taxed 
powers was not so widely understood then as it is now, 
jind lowering processes were applied, the result being that 
he returned to Hampshire worse than he had left it. A 
Sheffield friend now suggested that the water euro might 
be tried with advantage. Mr. Roebuck proceeded to 
Malvern, and there pursued that treatment under the 
advice of Dr. Gully, who at once began a process of 
" building up." This was afterwards continued at home 
during the next summer and winter, with the happiest 

During this time his constituents at Sheffield generously 
excused him from any attendance in Parliament "until 
he felt perfectly well and able to return there." He had 
been unequal to attendance at the autumn session of the 
new Parliament (November 4 to December 31), which 
was fatal to the Derby government ; and throughout the 
whole of the session of 1853, when Lord Aberdeen had 
come into power, he was absent. In the autumn of that 
year he visited Sheffield. On the way down the Great 
Northern express ran into a coal train at Hornsey. Several 
passengers were injured, Mr. Roebuck receiving a severe 
cut on the forehead. Unlike the Lord Mayor and others 
who were with him, Mr. Roebuck continued his journey, 
and resolutely appeared at the Cutlers' feast, although so 
feeble as to be obliged to sit in the reception room and 
compelled to plead that the few sentiments he utt°!red 
in his short speech " had shaken him with emotion." 
The theme of that speech was that England to be 
respected, and to maintain peace, must be feared. He 
described the naval review that he had lately wit- 
nessed at Spithead, "as a great peace meeting," where 




he had seen majjiiificent vessels marching against wind 
and tide, without the semblance of motion save their 
progress onward. In the poet's phrase, each one seemed to 
" walk the waters like a thing of life," to dare the elements 
to stop them. That steam lleet was a great curator of the 
peace of Europe, and more efficient for the purpose than 
any meeting that could be collected of persons professing 
to be the promoters of peace ; and he held it to be no wise 
economy to attempt to cut down these our meaus of 

While Mr. Roebuck was still seeking a restoration to 
health in the repose of I.Iilton, he was subjected to some 
annoyance by a newspaper proclamation that he intended, 
as soon as Parliament met in 1854, to demand from 
ministers a categorical explanation of rumours, freely cir- 
culated, of undue interference by the Prince Consort in 
ali'airs of State. Mr. Roebuck warmly resented the "un- 
warrantable liberty" thus taken with the name of one 
leading " so (juiet and retired a life." He had no intention 
of taking any such step. He was, indeed, not only without 
any evidence as to the princu's conduct, but was actually 
unaware that any charge had been seriously made against 









I : 


I < 



TlIK riUMKAN AND CHINA WAKS, I.S.') t-l,S.")7. 

In the siniiiuf of isr)4 Mr. lloclmck i(>tiirno(l to Pnilia- 
montary work ; but ho only spoke oiict^ — on Mr. Layurtrs 
motion concornin;j; Kussia and tho I'orto — when ho had 
to ask tho indulijjenco of tho llouso on account of his 
rocont ilhu'ss. It was a warlike spooch, advocatiujj; an 
iunnodiato resort to the sword, and inchidiui^ a tribute 
to the "loyalty and honesty of ]>urposo" oxhiI)i((Ml by that 
lOniporor of France who, when President, he had denounced 
>vs a bad man. This was on February 17. On March 27 
war was declared asjjainst Russia. Althou_!.^h weakness pn - 
vented him from takinjjj any large share in Parliamentary 
debates, and compelling, indeed, |)r()tracted absences, Mr. 
Roebuck watched the course of events with constant 
anxiety. When the terrible liistories of cold, hunger, and 
utter misery, sufl'eied by the English army in the (*rimea 
eame to light, he was deeply moved; and, feeling that 
such events cried aloud for investigation, ho <|uietly resolved, 
although hardly n^covered from his long illness, to lind 
means for an in(iuiry of some kind to be made. 

One evening in January, 1S,55, ho returned homo early 
from the House, and startled the mend>ors ol' his family 
by sayhig, "I have just given r.v^tice that I shall move 
for an inquiry into the state of tho army in tho Crimea !" 
This was on the 22nd. 

An eye-witness thus describes tho scene when Mr. Roe- 
buck gave his notice — 





) Pailia- 
ho had 
t of his 
^tiiijj; an 
\ trihuto 
1 by that 

^larcli '27 

noss \iiX • 

ncos, Mr. 
i!^or, ant I 

10 Crimea 
int; that 
to liiul 

Inio early 
Is family 
Lll move 



Mr. Roe- 

Tli(! lIoUHC' wiiH t(tl('rul»ly full iit thi'inoinciit tliiiL Mr. Kocituck 
roHo to Kpciik. 'I'licn? was ii monifiitiiry liiisl), (li^cpciiiii;,' into 
solemnity, durint,' wliidi no sound wiis linird hiivc; tlio Klmrp 
rin^' of tlu! ni(;nil»(!r for SIn'Micld's vctiec. Il, wiiH ii (lush of 
forked li^ditnin^' clciivini,' the diirknt-srt, ji elcur Ki<,'ni(i(;iint, 
nttcrimce of ptirposc Tlicn- wiis ii i^M'iivily on tin; Trciisiiry 
ncntiji iiniountinj^ to disniiiy. 'I'lierc was ii i^'iisp of surprist! 
cvcrywimn'— tliiit kind of Hcnsitivt! slirirdxiiiL,' with wliicli men 
iiiii^dit witness the nphftint^ of a weapon to lay a vietiin 

On the 2.'h<l, \\\ conso(|nence of that notice, Lord John 
Russell resij^'iied, and, on the 27th Mr. Roidmck moved, 
"That a Select Committei; he appointed to intpiire into 
the c(tndition of our army hefore Sehastojiol, and into tlu; 
conduct of those departments of the (iovernnujnt whoso 
duty it has been to minister to the wants of that army." 
Twice (hu'in*^ his sptjech Mr. Ilofduick was unahio to 
proceed throuifh physical weakness, and, notwithstandini^' 
a <,'allant attempt to ;^o on, he was coMi|>ell(!d to stop, after 
having scarcely opened his case, and without any (jlahora- 
tion of his in<lictment. 

The Ministry fouj^ht hanl a^'ainst the motion, hut mi 
vain; and it was carried hy a majority of Vu , in a House 
of 4r);{ memhe'rs. 

The resii^nation of the Ahenleen Ministry followed 
immediately, liord Palmerston formed a new (Jovernment, 
with little change in its iwrHonnd. 

The work of constituting^ th(; Sohastojiol rnvesti;,'ation 
Connnittoe took some time, its composition heinj^' the 
.souvce of nmch contention. TUit at last, un February 27, 
it met for business. Mr. Roebuck was then elected its 
chairman, after an attem])t on the i)art of Ltjrd Seymour 
to propose himself for that post. 

Sir John Pakint^'ton, with a view to collecting' evidence 
with greater certainty and ease, propost.'d that the com- 
mittee should be a secret one, and this proposal wa^ 

} ' 




I 1 

I I 



reluctantly laid before the House by Mr. Roebuck. The 
general sense being strongly against secrecy, the motion 
was withdrawn.* 

A vast mass of evidence as to the actual state of 
things in the Crimea was soon gathered from eye-witnesses 
from the Duke of Cambridge downwards ; but the causes 
of the confusion and disorganization that had prevailed 
were more difficult of elucidation. In several instances, 
when witnesses were sent for, they did not appear, or 
were not to be found. Mr. Roebuck often afterwards said, 
" I felt corruption round about me, but I could not lay 
my hand upon it." t 

The report of the committee was published in June, 
]8o5. The original draft of it, drawn up by the chair- 
man, is intcrestinj]^, as showing what was the impression 
made upon his mind by the collected evidence. On July 
17 Mr. Roebuck moved the following resolution, founded 
upon the report of the committee : — " That this House, 
deeply lamenting the sufferings of our army during the 
winter campaign in the Crimea, and coinciding with the 
resolution of the committee that the conduct of the 

* Mr. Kinglake's accoant of the proceeding's in connection with tho 
Stbustopol Conimitteo is written in a tone wholly unfriendly to BIr. Roebuck. 
His reference to the above iiroposal is unfair and inaccurate. Roebuck, in 
making the motion, was not, as Kinglako implies (*' Invasion of tlio Crimea," 
vol. vi. p. 5162), carrying out his own project; ho was simply fullillinj^ tho 
wishes of tho mnjority of the committee. Tho members wire, indeed, 
unanimous in the opinion that socrccy was required ; tho only difference of 
opinion was as to tho extent of secrecy. The majority were in favour of this 
being complete. Lo-d Seymour, the report of who^o speech does not contain 
tho word "foolish" attributed to him by Mr. Kinglako, simply urged that 
tho exclusion of the public should not extend to members of Parliamtnt. 

t Sir. Roebuck moved the Duke of Newcastle to indignant anger by 
telling him, "that tho conviction upon tho minds of the committee was 
daily gaining strength . . . ilmt tiie key to miiuy mysteries could only bo 
found ut head-quarters, and that in i hiu'li quarter (Prince Albert) there had 
been a determination that tho e:;j)edition should not succeed." Princo 
Albert's memorandum recording '.he Duke of Newcastle's report of this 
cunverisalion, with his own scornful connnents, is given in Martin's " Life of 
the Prince Consurt," vol. iii. p. 219. 




Administration was the first and chief cause of the calamities 
whjoh befell that army, do hereby visit with severe repre- 
hension every member of that Cabinet which led to such 
disastrous results." The debate occupied two nights, on 
the second of which two petitions, one from Birmingham 
and the other from Bradford, praying that the ministers 
might be impeached, were pre^iented by the originator of 
the debate. The previous question being moved and 
carried by 298, as against 182, the motion was lost. 

The town of Sheffield, by its mayor, W. Fisher, sent 
thanks for services rendered to the country in the Crimean 
Committee. Bath, also, did not forget her late member, 
for a large meeting voted thanks to be sent through 
Mr. G. Norman, an old supporter; and numerous letters 
testified to the interest felt all over the country. The 
public sense of Mr. Roebuck's services on this question 
led to a subscription among his constituents for a testi- 
monial. It was not presented till September in the 
following year, when it amounted to eleven hundred 
guineas, and a portrait by Mr. Richard Smith, which 
hangs in the Sheffield Council Hall. 

Mr. Roebuck helped to swell the storm of disapproval, 
raised on imperfect knowledge of the facts, with which 
Lord John Russell's conduct in connection with the Vienna 
Protocols was met — a storm before which, as culminating 
in Sir E. B. Lytton's threatened motion of censure. Lord 
John was driven from office for no less than four years. 

» ■, .. 

The noble lord (said Mr. Roebuck) held, or ncqnicsced in, 
liingna<jje at the Conferences of Vienna which was unworthy of 
any English minister. I say that no Entrlisli minister, especially 
the author of reform in Parliament, ouj^ht to have put his hand 
to that protocol, the object of which was to take from an inde- 
pendent people (Servia and the Principalities) the power of self- 
government. English interests arc the interests of the world — 
her interests are the interests of civilization and self-government ; 
but in this case the noble lord sided with the despots of the 





World, who would (TusIi an iiidciKnidciit/ i)co|>lo, uiid deprive 
llieiij of the right of lurtnajfiiij,' their own conceniH. 

Tills was uttered in a speech delivered in the debate 
on the continued prosecution of the war, when Mr. Roe- 
Ituck emphasized the general suspicion of half-heartedness 
in the Ministry, and of the presence in the Cabinet of 
men more anxious to conclude peace than to carry on the 
war with thorouj^hness. 

Mr. Roebuck took his fidl share in public work throui,'h- 
out the session of liSijd, speakinj; fretpiently on sul»iects 
involving a wide range of foreign and domestic interests. 
He opposed the appointment of a board of general otliecrs 
to in(|uire into the allegations of the report of the M'Neill- 
Tulloch (yonuuission to the Crimea ; but he declined to divide 
the House with the characteristic remark that he was, as 
ho usually found himself, in a i)alpablo minority. On 
Lord John Russell's resolutions for enlarging the system 
of National Education, and supplying deficiencies in school 
acconuuodation from the rates, he repeated his often- 
expressed views in favour of secular teaching, including 
instruction in those universal moral truths which are above 
sectarianism, and the basis of all religion, whether Jewisli 
t)r Gentile, Roman Catholic or Protestant, Unitarian or 
Trinitarian. He watched carefully, and endeavoured to 
amend many projects of legal reform ; but ho was chiefly 
occupied, towards the end of the session, in strenuously 
opposing, through all its stages, a Bill for the retirement 
of the Bishops of London and Durham. He denounced 
this as a corrupt contract, an offence against the eccle- 
siastical law, and a great scandal. These bishops, he 
exclaimed, wore seeking to avail themselves of an Act 
of Pailiament in order to pcr[)etrate a breach of the law. 
Impotent from disease and age, they said to Parliament, 
" If you will buy us oti', having enjoyed two of the richest 
bishoprics in England for many years, we are willing to 


Ir. Roo- 
)inot of" 
f on the 

I oHicers 
Lo divide 
) was, as 
ity. On 
! system 
In school 
c abov(^ 
irian or 
mod to 
e cccle- 
ops, he 
an Act 
)he law. 
lling to 



go." And, his opposition to the lUil as a whole being 
unavailing, Mr. lioehuck fought it clause by clause in 
committee, seeking especially to reduce the sums j)ayabl«( 
as pensions to the prelates on retirement. Another eccle- 
siastical matter which excited his indignation, was the 
attempt, when New Zealand refused to pay a bishop con- 
fcrre<l upon it l>y Lord John Russell, to impose the salary 
on the British taxpayer. 

In Fel»ruary, 1.S.57, the Hudson's Bay Company asked 
for a renewal of their licence to trade over that north-west 
territ<)ry adjoining the two Canadas, which e.xtends from 
the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific, including Vancouver's 
Islan<l. The Colonial Secretary, Mr. Labouchero (after- 
wards Lord Taunton), brought this recpiest before the 
House of Comujons, and asked for a select committee to 
consider the matter, as his desire was to see at least a 
portion of this vast territory colonized. Mr. Roebuck 
agreed heartily with this wish, pointing out that the 
interests of a fur company dependent upon solitudes where 
wild animals abounded, were antagonistic to colonization. 
He had taken the same line in 184-0, when a former repre- 
sentative of the Colonial Office (Mr. Hawes) had ridiculed 
the idea of colonizing the " dreary territory " aiid " barren 
tracts" of the Hudson's Bay Company. 

The rivers running into Hudson's Bay, passed. Roebuck 
said, through the most fertile territories belonging to the 
Crown, and if England did her duty, she would make that 
country the Germany of North America, and fonn a vast 
confederation in Canada. A great nation might be created 
there. The creation of such a nation was a duty which 
England ought to perform, and the interests of a small 
company should not be allowed to stand in the way of the 
great interests of humanity. 

The expulsion from Parliament of ^Ir. James Sadleir, 
member for Tippcrary, in Fel)ruary, IS.")7, onaV)led Mr. 
Roebuck to claim this as a further illustration of the fact 







1 ■' ' 

1 !■' 

! i 



that what he thought today Parliament thought to-morrow. 
For, true to his custom of watching over the dignity and 
morals of the House, he had advocated this vindicatory step 
in the previous July. " I am always too soon," ho remarked 
at finding his rejected counsels followed six months later. 
A year afterwards, the instincts of Parliamentary policeman 
being still strong within him, Mr. Roebuck obtained a 
committee to inquire into allegations that Mr. Isaac Butt 
had corruptly received money from an Indian ameer, to 
advocate in the House of Commons his claims for the 
recovery of territories. That Mr. Butt had received money 
from the ameer was proved ; but as these payments were 
not in reference to proceedings in Parliament, he was 

The English hostilities with China in this year did not 
meet with the approbation of the House of Commons, and 
after a sharp cxA protracted debate on a condemnatory 
motion by Mr. Cobden, which Mr. Roebuck supported in 
a speech delivered on the fourth night, a division took 
place, in which the Government was defeated. The com- 
bination of various sections arrayed against the adminis- 
tration is indicated by the fact that Mr. Gladstone and 
Mr. Disraeli, Lord John Russell and Mr. Roebuck, Mr. A. H. 
Layard and Mr. H. A. Bruce, were found in the same lobby, 
voting for Mr. Cobden's motion.* Lord Palmerstcn imme- 
diately advised a dissolution of Parliament. His conduct 
was so popular in the country, that in the elections his 
opponents were utterly routed. Both Mr. Roebuck and his 
colleague, Mr. Hadfield, had voted against him, and Mr. 
William Overend, the defeated Tory candidate at Sheffield 
in 1852, seized the opportunity to offer himself, claiming to 
be a supporter of Lord Palmerston. There was another 

* About 1857 to 18r)9 thoro sat together, on the front Opposition bench 
below tho gangway, Lord John Russell, Mr. Eocbuck, and Lord Robert Cecil, 
the present Lord Salisbury — a remarkable company mentioned by Punch in 
11 paragraph which describes Mr. Roebuck as a dug fancier, and Lord Robert 
Cecil as a vinegar merchant. 




difficulty on the side of the old members, duo to the split 
of the Liberals, owing to the great indignation felt by the 
moderate party on account of the means used in liS52 to 
ilefeat Mr. John Parker. In 1857, therefore, the local 
Liberals had to perform a double operation of extreme 
deliciicy. They had to heal their split, and also to condone 
the vote of Messrs. Roebuck and Hadfield against Lord 
Palmerston, who was as popular in Sheffield as in any other 
part of the country. 

To A. Booth {ShoffiehT). 

10, At^hJoy Place, S.W., March 7, 1857.— I thank you for 
your letter, but I do not at all share in your saiif^uine view of my 
prospects at Sheffield. I find the feelins? of disapprobation so 
strong among my friends that I am very much inclined at once to 
say that I shall not present myself to the constituency at the 
coming elections. I am surprised — I will not add what my other 
feelings are — at the opinions I hear expressed on the subject of 
the atrocities of which we have been guilty in China. 

Mr. Roebuck's belief that " the honour of England had 
been desecrated by the proceedings at Canton," brought 
hira into unwonted co-operation with Mr. Cobden, for ho 
presided over a public meeting of protest at the Freemasons' 
Hall, at which Mr. Cobden and Mr. Layard were the chief 
speakers. He seemed conscious that this conjunction with 
Mr. Cobden might occasion remark, for he was at pains, 
while referring to "the glorious success Mr. Cobden had 
achieved, and which would live and be remembered when 
he and all around him were dead and forgotten " — to declare 
that he was no follower of Mr. Cobden's, or indeed of any 
man. He had opposed him when he thought him wrong, 
and he followed him now because he thought him right.* 

* Ho had supported motions by Mr. Cobdon ftdvocatitif; arbitration in 
international disputes (Juno, 1849), and in favourofageneval reduction in tlio 
armaments of the Great Powers. 




« ! 

Win. Fisho; Jiinr. (^S/ic(/iel<i) to Mr. liocbuck. 

[S7tf (field'] March 2(j, 18r>7.— I have observed from reports of 
[flection] meetinj^s that you have several tirnos remarked upon 
the absence of some familiar faces. I may flatter myself in 
8upi)08inf? that you iicrliaps have misstd me, but I cauuot bear the 
j)ain of feelinf^ that you may believe me to be away from indilfer- 
euce or inconstancy. The fact is I have as grave objections to 
]\Ir. lladtield as I had when he first came to Shcilield. It is not 
merely that he disturbed tlie Liberal party, but that he never 
jrives a vote or makes a speech on any subject connected with the 
education of the people, or with the management of our forei«rn 
affaii-s, which does not annoy or disappoint me, and I consider 
him also very narrow on the Sunday question. For these reasons 
I cannot divide my vote on this occasion, nor ask any of those 
with whom I have influence to do so. Mr. Overend is as objec- 
tionable to me as Mr. Hadfield — not more so. It does not seem to 
ine fair for me to go to the joint-committee, unless I could vote 
and work for both. I beg, however, that you will not believe 
that I feel any diminution of gratitude to, or regard for you, 
or that I am not working for you. 

To Mr. William Fisher. 

April 1, 1857. — No one is more ignorant than I of the 
internal condition of things in Shelfield, so that I know- 
nothing of the history of individuals or of parties in the town. 
]\Iy mind is engrossed by the affairs of the nation, and I fancy 
I do wisely by keeping myself as much aloof as possible from 
all merely local politics. 

The local difficulties, by a wise and self-sacrificing party 
loyalty, were overcome. The elections elsewhere ran 
strongly against Lord Palmerston's opponents, and espe- 
cially against " the Manchester School," including Mr. 
Cobden and Mr. Bright; but in Sheifield the result was 
the triumph of the old members. 

When the new Parliament met, Mr. Roebuck, in the 
debate on the address, congratulated the House on a pledge 
given by Lord Palmerston, to introduce a measure of 





Parliamentary reform during the session. The pledge was 
not fulfilled. 

On the motion (May 21, 1857) to grant to the Princess 
Royal, on her marriage with Prince Frederick William of 
Prussia, £40,000, and an annual sum of JtSOOO as an 
annuity for life, Mr. Roebuck urged that, as combining 
generosity to the sovereign with justice to the people, it 
would bo better to grant a round sum as dowry, as was 
done in the case of a former Princess Royal, the daughter 
of George III. " Do not," he said, " hamper this country 
or yourselves by an annuity paid every year. Let her Royal 
Highness have everything that her necessities and her 
liappiness require ; let it be done generously, but let it be 
done once and for ever." 

In July Mr. Roebuck brought foi-ward a motion 
declaring the authority of the House of Connnons weakened 
by the Government entering upon a war with Persia with- 
out laying papers before Parliament, and expressing strong 
reprobation of this proceeding. This was rejected after 
two nights' discussion by a majority of 352 against 38. 

There were two subjects that always ruffled the temper 
of Lord Palmerston — the Suez Canal and the Empire of 
Brazil. It was Mr. Roebuck's fate to approach both of 
these at times while Palmerston was leader of the House 
of Commons. In the case of the Suez Canal, the member 
for Sheffield foresaw the immense advantage that would 
accrue to this country if that project were carried out, and 
he urged that it would be wise for England at least to look 
favourably upon it. 

Palmerston would have nothing to do with it, and on 
June 1, 1858, Mr. Roebuck brought forward a motion 
censuring opposition to the scheme. This was rejected by 
290 to G2. 

The abolition of the office of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland 
had long been advocated by Mr. Roebuck. In 1850 he had 
spoken in support of a Bill introduced by Lord John Russell 





M 12.5 


1^ 1^ 

.. «. II 



U_ 16 


















' .» 









for that purpose. In July, 1857, he himself brought forward 
a motion, and one of the main arguments against it being 
founded on the fact that there was no proposal to substitute 
anything for the abolished viceroyalty, in the following 
year he repeated the proposition, including in it the creation 
of an Irish Secretary of State. But the Irish members 
themselves were the strongest protestors against the change. 
Mr. H. Grattan (Meath) had opposed the Government Bill 
in 1850, and Mr. McCuUagh Torrens carried the previous 
question against Mr. Roebuck's motions by large majorities. 

( ^69 ) 


"TEAR 'EM." 1857-1859. 

After the General Election of 1857, Lord Palmerston seemed 
to be secure of an indefinite lease of power. But the Orsini 
conspiracy had the result of entirely upsetting this antici- 
pation, and in February, 1858, the English Ministry was 
swept away by the tide of indignation caused by what 
Mr. Roebuck called "the degradation and humiliation" 
of Lord Palmerston's proposal — in presence of irritatino- 
braggadocio of the French colonels, and the threats and 
dictations of the French emperor, who allowed the Moniteur 
to call this country a den of assassins — to enact that a 
conspiracy in England to commit murder abroad should be 
punishable like a conspiracy to commit murder at home.* 

* " Roebuck is himself again. Of course lie looks older than ho did before 
his illness. His hair is thinned and grey, his features are sharper and his 
shoulders are rounder; but all this may be traced to age, for he is fifty-seven. 
The sickness under which the honourable member so long languished appears 
to be entirely gone. He walks now without support ; his voice rings through 
the House as it used to do when he was the pet Radical member for Bath, 
and his action is just as dramatic as it was a dozen years ago. . . . Amongst 
the circumlocutioniat trash, which is now the fashion of the House, it is 
refreshing occasionally to listen to the direct, manly, vigorous denunciations 
of the olden time. He hits hard — no doubt harder than is necesi<ary,— and 
his asperity of language, intensified into an appearance of malignity by tho 
tones of his voice, his scornful looks, and his emphatic action, we could some- 
times wish to be a little softened down ; but he tells plain truths whicli need 
to be told, and is the able organ in the House of feelings and opinions held 
by a large portion of the community which ought to have utterance. Tho 
conduct of Louis Najwleon . . . was a fine theme for Mr. Roebuck, and it 
was capital fun to liear him in his unadorned, but biting eloquence, denounce 

1 ' ■ 

• f 






A ■ 


f I' I 

fim't !f 





The Earl of Derby thereupon entered upon a brief tenure 
of office. 

The session was, indeed, one in which foreign affairs 
were prominent. There was the excitement caused by 
the capture of the Cagliari by Neapolitan cruisers, and 
the imprisonment of the English engineers. Mr. Roebuck 
"would have sent a three-decker to Naples witMn cannon- 
shot of the royal palace." There was Mr. Gladstone's 
motion in championship of the national claims of the people 
of Wallachia and Moldavia, which Mr. Roebuck supported ;* 
an 1 there were hot debates on the expediency of discon- 
tinuing the practice of authorizing the British squadron for 
suppressing the slave trade, to visit and search vessels 
under foreign flags. The fall of Palmerston's government 
had put an end to their Bill for transferring India from the 
Company to the Crown, and a new measure, introduced by 
Mr. Disraeli, met with so little favour that procedure by 
resolutions was resorted to, and on these yet a third Bill 
was framed. This ultimately became law. Mr. Roebuck 
was throughout resolute in his resistance to the proposal to 
set up and irresponsible council to aid an advise the Secre- 
tary of State. Acknowledging on one occasion the certainty 
that there would be an immense majority against him on 
this point, he said — 

But that to me is no new thing. I have brought forward many 
propositions which were at first rejected, but afterwards became 
the creed of the House. Some years ago I contended for a par- 
ticular course being followed in our colonial policy, and I was 
always out-voted, but the time came when that which had been 

the quondam refugee, and to see the dismay on the faces of ministers." 
(" The Inner Life of the House of Commons," by William White, vol. i. 
pp. 38, 39.) 

* Mr. Roebuck was constantly consulted durinp the negotiations for 
forming the two Danubiun Principalities into the State of Roumania, the 
intermediary being M. Demetrius Bratiano, brother of one of the new state's 
first ministers. An early act by Roumania was to confer citizenship upon 
Mr. Roebuck and Mr. Gladstone, in graceful recognition of their efforts for 
her welfare. Lord Brougham also took great interest in the same subject. 


''TEAR 'EAf." 


so often rejected, almost with scorn, became the creed of the 
Colonial Minister. 

Mr. Gladstone himself made handsome acknowledgement 
of Mr. Roebuck's services in this respect. In a speech on a 
motion of Mr. Roebuck's against a renewal of the expiring 
privileges of the Hudson's Bay Company, he referred to the 
member for Sheffield as a veteran in these matters. " It is 
a fact," he said, " upon which he has a right to reflect with 
gratification, that upon this subject and other questions 
relating to our policy in British North America, he has 
frequently been the expositor of truths at an early date 
which, although not at once acknowledged, have subse- 
([uently obtained complete recognition." 

The eloquence and lofty standard of national morality 
proclaimed in the speech in which Mr. Roebuck ranged 
himself on the side of the Government in defeating the 
attack on Lord EUenborough for his censure of Lord 
Canning's proclamation in connection with the confiscation 
of Oude (May 17, 1858), elicited the warm admiration of 
M. de Montalembert. In a spirited description of the 
debate, the eminent Frenchman attributed the collapse of 
the Opposition in a large measure to Mr. Roebuck, who, he 
said, " lifted himself far above the vulgar preoccupations of 
personal and national politics." Up to the time when Roe- 
buck spoke, " no one had as yet entered upon the question 
with so much frankness ; uo one had as yet marked so 
clearly the importance of the question, the sacred character 
of the principles involved, and the danger of subordinating 
these to the interest of party." Mr. Roebuck had said — 

It is for us now to decide whether this immense Empire shall 
be governed according to the principles of honour and virtue, or 
with the sole end of increasing the power of England. I am an 
Englishman, but there are things which to me ai'c more sacred 
and greater than the greatness of England, and among these things 
are the progress of mankind in instruction and in the practice of 
virtue and honour. . . . There is a way of making our Empire 





i ' 



' rl 

lawful, and there is only one — it is to labour for the happiness of 
the people we j^ovem ; and the first condition of this happiness is , 
to be indulgent and merciful. 

Mr. Roebuck ended the session by stoutly opposing, and 
fighting sedulously in committee, the Corrupt Practices 
Act Continuation Bill. A more mischievous Bill he had 
never seen, for it struck a deadly blow at all purity of election 
by making return to that House a mere matter of personal 
ambition, and placing individual aggrandisement before 
public duty. By permitting the conveyance of voters to the 
poll at the candidate's expense, and by similar provisions, 
it was made a Bill for the admission of the rich and the 
exclusion of the poor. 

In this year Mr. Roebuck obtained for himself the name 
of " Tear 'em," which, tr,king greatly the public fancy, as 
hitting the nail exactly on the head, and equally lending 
itself to use whether in praise or in blame, stuck to him 
through life. It was at the Sheffield Cutlers' feast in Sep- 
tember that Mr, Roebuck applied to himself the designation 
of the faithful watchdog in " Guy Mannering." He had been 
visiting the fortifications at Cherbourg, and he came back 
full of warnings about the national danger caused by the 
" standing menace " in " the waters of a despot." 

In the same autumn Mr. Roebuck visited Ireland in 
connection with a scheme for developing Galway into a 
great harbour as the head-quarters of a line of trans- 
Atlantic packets. In a speech at a Galway banquet, Mr. 
Roebuck, after some eulogistic references to Daniel 
O'Connell, said his own object had ever been to comi lete 
the union between the two peoples. The people of England 
deserved well of, because they meant well to, the people of 
Ireland. He continued — 

I believe, from the bottom of my heart, that if there be any- 
thintr disagreeable to Ireland, you have only to make your 
statements of grievance to the English House of Commons, in 
order to be attended to. Let the clergy employ their power for 





the union o£ the two countries, to msikc Irishmen men of the 
United Kini,'dom. There can bo no hope for En<,'land or Ireland 
without the perfect union of tlie two countries. If you wish for 
justice, send us men as your representatives who can tell what you 
desire. Send such men as we can listen to, and who can command 
respect and attention, and I promise you that every word they 
utter in your name will find a ready response in the En^^lish House 
of Commons. From my knowledge of that House I can say with 
truth that the people of Ireland have no better friends than the 
members of the English House of Commons, who all wish you 

To Mrs. RoehiieJc, 

Dublin, Wednesday, October, 1858. — I met last Sunday with 
Whiteside,* who wanted me to stay some days with him here. I 
consented, and shall stay till Monday. We had grand doings at 
Galway, where my speech caused an excitement, and raised the 
ire of an Irish Yankee. I dined on Sunday with Lord Naas.t 
To-day I meet Walpole. Lord Eglinton invited me to dinner on 
Tuesday, but as that was our great day at Galway, I was obliged 
to decline. I have many things to tell you, but you know from 
experience I am not a good gossip, and cannot write a letter of 
news. Galway is but a mean place, but I intend that in our time 
it shall rival Liverpool. One of the most interesting persons 
I have met is "the ubiquitous Father Daly" — a priest very 
unlike a priest, who made friends at once with me. Everybody 
is exceedingly kind. 

The Dean of Elphin to Mr. RoebucJc. 

Dea:'>ery, Elphin, Ireland, October 1.5, 1858. — As a minister of 
the gospel, as an Irishman, a British subject and a Christian, I 
bog to thank you for your speech at Galway, and to express the 
pleasure with which I read the report of it. Let Englishmen of 
ability, of enlarged views, of philanthropic spirit, continue to 
come among us and to preach " peace and good will " from their 
country to ours. Let them stimulate us to industry, self-reliance, 
and progress, and exhort us to charity, and you may rest assured 
their labour of love will not be in vain. . . . Let us have a 

* Eight Hon. James Whiteside, M.P. for Dublin University, 
t Sixth Lord Mayo. 


f s 



1 J 





united Empire, abolish all institutions which are symbols of 
separation ; let us have good government iu Ireland, free from 
the oscillations caused by Castle intrigue or clique influence, and 
we shall soon cease to " give to party what was meant for man." 
Ireland will arise to a real freedom from the thraldom in which 
centuries of misrule have bound her. A brighter day has dawned, 
and statesmen of all parties seem to have opened their eyes to the 
truth that no union can be secure or lasting which is not based 
on community of interests, and a similarity of object and pursuit. 
Pardon me, sir, for troubling you with the accompanying paper. 
I wish, in trespassing on you with these observations, to prove to 
you that I am no convert to the views I profess. It is true that 
persons in my profession who have uniformly endeavoured to 
carry these principles into effect have had, hitherto, little to 
encourage them, except the consciousness of rectitude, and the 
progress of their principles towards ultimate, and I trust not 
distant, triumph. The favour of the State, whether Lord 
Palmerston or Lord Derby rules, is reserved for the repenting 
political sinner.— I am, etc., William Wauuurton, Dean of 

The same to the same. 

November 7, 1858. — . . . If the legislature will only continue 
its encouragements to education, and increase them, the want of 
progress will be stimulated. ... I believe that if members of 
Parliament were deprived of all patronage, it would be better for 
them as well as for the public, and they would retain a greater 
number of friends and make fewer enemies than they do at 
present. ... I believe that a great acceleration of progress has 
been gained during the last session, and I am persuaded that 
public opinion in England is irresistible, and that, rightly directed, 
it will carry all parties forward in the direction of reform and 
improvement, and that in a few years more good will have been 
effected than the most sanguine reformers a few years since could 
have hoped for in their days. — Yours very faithfully, William 

Mr. Koebuck's reception, when next he went down to 
address his constituents, is described in the following 
letter. As to Reform, he devoted himself to establishing 



bols of 
BO from 
ice, and 
r man." 
tt which 
iS to the 
)t based 
g paper, 
prove to 
rue that 
3ured to 
little to 
and the 
,rust not 
er Lord 
Dean of 

want of 
ibers of 
)etter for 
a greater 
jey do at 
;ress has 
ided that 
"orm and 
bve been 
ice could 


lown to 


TEA/: 'EM." 


its ncccs dty and dcfininf,^ its limits, explaining the methods 
of extension and redistribution which he thourrht wise and 
practicable. But the reniarkablo part of his speech was 
his warning that domestic policy was in danger of being 
postponed by foreign complications, and a renewal of his 
keen denunciation of the Emperor of the French. The 
jealousy of despotic and tyrannical Europe was, he pro- 
tested, a danger to isolated England. Her alliances ought 
to be with freedom, not with despotism. 

I have no faith in a man who is perjured to his lips. I 
recollect, when at Chorbcurg, seeing the Emperor of the Frencli 
visit the Queen of England ; . . . but when I saw his perjured 
lips upon her hallowed cheek, my blood rushed back to my 
heart to think of that holy and good creature being defiled by 
the lips of a perjured despot. . . . Depend upon it, no alliance 
with foulness can be made without foulness attaching to the ally ; 
and I say at once that, rather than be the ally of a despot like 
Louis Napoleon, I would at once break with him and be England 
alone. For, so being, we can withstand all his anger and all his 
power ; but you must support your Government in that great 
move. If you do that we need not fear, though the world stand 
in arms against us. 

To Mrs. RoehucJc. 

Sheffield, Janvary 14, 1859. — I write simply to say that I 
am very well, and that to-morrow I go to Leeds. I have not 
seen the Times, so I don't know whether you have learned the 
history of our doings yesterday. The true story of those doings 
w'ill, however, never be known. "VVe had a meeting at the Town 
Hall, and, just as I began to speak, a cry was raised of " Adjourn 
to the SuiTcy ]\Iusic Hall " ! — the fact being that Y[oudan] the 
proprietor, having got into a great scrape, wished to get some 
popularity by having us at his room. The adjournment was 
opposed by an overwhelming majority of the meeting. Still, the 
twenty or thirty persons who raised the cry, and whom I believe 
to have been hired for the purpose, kept up such a riot as to 
render it impossible to go on with the meeting, and I took up 
my hat and departed. This step startled the meeting. The 




I 1:1 



mayor, who presided, dissolved tlic mcetin,<,% and there seemed 
an end of the whole affair. Our committee, however, met at 
the Royal Hotel opposite, and it was resolved to go at once t(j 
the Temperance Hall, thus defeating the object of the rioters. 
So wc went, and found a crowded room and a very well-disposed 
audience. Our meeting eventually went off very well, though 
the row-dow drove out of my head many things which I wished 
to say. Still, I think my say will do good. 

Lecih^ J((nnarij 17, 1859. — I am amused by the various 
criticisms upon my speech at Sheffield, Apparently the world 
generally has been taken by surprise. I heard that the Hare- 
wood family expressed themselves as entirely agreeing with me, 
especially in what I said about Louis Napoleon. This acquiescence 
seems general, but the newspaper people are all afraid of saying 
aye to me on that score, though the I'imes docs so in reality. 
It complains under its breath of my hard language, seeming to 
forget that it has said things quite as strong. A Manchester 
paper is particularly hurt by my allusion to the queen, " though 
we all thought and felt as Mr. R. describes ; but, then," etc. 
The thoughts I gave expression to were new, but to mc old, and 
the argument was of such a sort that they cannot answer it ; 
so they throw all attempt to answer overboard, and simply 
criticize myself. But on this head they are rather complimentary 
than otherwise. 

The transactions in connection with Parliamentary 
Reform, opening with the fancy Franchise Bill, introduced 
by Mr. Disraeli on behalf of the Derby Ministry, on 
February 28, 1859, led Mr. Roebuck into attitudes which 
began a strain upon his relations with his chief sup- 
porters in Sheffield, destined, ten years after, to reach the 
breaking-point. Mr. Roebuck's opposition to the Govern- 
ment proposals was, at first, uncompromising and emphatic. 
In the following memorandum, he records the effect upon 
himself of Mr. Disraeli's statement, and his communications 
with Lord John Russell on the subject : — 

" What do you intend to do ? " said Lord John Russell to me, 
when Mr. Disraeli had finished his exposition of the reform 
measure proposed by Lord Derby's cabinet. " Oppose the measure 



at once," !• answered. " The move is not one in advance, it is 
retroirrade, and the measure must at once be destroyed. I shall 
denounce it directly." " Then I will do so," said the noble lord ; 
and thereupon he rose, and in strouir, Koc^^ ^^'t phrase declared 
airainst the measure. I did the same.'^ The second readinj,' was 
appointed for that day three weeks. This was on Monday. On 
the next "Wednesday I dined with Lord John. After dinner, I 
said to I'arou Rothschild, who sat next me, " I wish you would 
ask Lord John what he intends to do respecting the proposed 
measure of reform." Rothschild, addressing- Lord John, said, 
" Roebuck wants to know what you are going to do respecting 
the proposed reform." I observed, " This was not the mode in 
which I wished you would ask the question. Rut since you have 
put it in my name, I will plainly state to Lord John what I think 
upon the subject, and sulnuit to him a course of conduct for him to 
pursue, which I believe will meet the approbation of the great 
majority of the Liberal party. Lord John and the world know 
my opinion of the proposed measure. Further, I believe that the 
proper mode for us to pursue is at once to meet the measure by a 
direct negative ; and therefore, if Lord John will move that it be 
read a second time that day six months, I am sure lie will be followed 
by the whole Liberal party, for we consider him not merely the 
father, but the grandfather of reform." It was therefore agreed 
that Lord John should make the motion, and that, on the coming 
Monday week, the Tiiberal party should be called together by Lord 
John, at the Thatched House Tavern, in order that they might 
be told what he intended to do. Soon after this was all definitely 
arranged, we separated. Days went past, but no circulars appeared 
calling us together. Rumours were afloat that Lord John had 
changed his mind, and the papers reported that he had consulted 
the leading members of the Palmerston party as to the course he 
should pursue, and that, by their advice, he had determined his 
line of conduct. I spoke to IMr. Forster, member for Walsall, 
asking him if he knew anything of the matter. His answer was, 
" Oh yes ; the arrangement we made at Lord John's has been 


* The Bill, said Mr. Roebuck, woultl not give one iota of power to the 
working classes. It was a measure of disfranchibement, not of enfranchise- 
ment. Its object was to enhance the iwwer of the landed interest in 
Parliament. "Wc have g'von tlio Government a generous support," he 
exclaimed ; " and this is the reward." 




entirely clmn<,'f(l. ITo lias coiisiiltcd Cliurhs Wood, iind (icorLTc 
Croy, uiul Sir .Tiinios (Iriilniin, iiiid ho will .yivo iioticu of ii 
rcHolution to Ito moved by him 011 i\w second reiidini^'." TiCiiniiiii;' 
this, I determined to spi'idc to Lord .lolm, thinkini^' the whole 
proceeding vciy nuieh ufter his old insolent style. J went into 
the Ilonso, and so soon as ho seated himself, I said to him, " liord 
John, is it trne, as stated l)y the papers, that you have taken counsel 
with Charles AVood, Georj^e Grey, and Lahouohere, as to what 
you are to do with rcajject to the Government reform measure ? 
Before you answer nie, however, I would assure you that, if you 
are to receive your inspirations from that bench " — pointinj^ to tho 
Opposition bench — "you may fjfive up all hopes of leadint,' the men 
below the <,'an{:fway. I can only speak of others, as believinj^ 
what they will do. I do not presume to speak in anybody's name, 
but I can speak for myself ; and I be<^ frankly to state to you, 
that I never intenil to allow those ^'entlcmen to act as my leaders 
again." "Why, you would not," said he, " throw them all over- 
board ?" "There is one, and only one, under whom I would act, 
and that is George Lewis. As for all the rest, they arc false and 
imbecile." Ilia only answer was a short laugh of surprise — " J-lh, 
ch ! " 

Mr. Roebuck's dissatisfaction with Lord John Russell's 
conduct in putting on tho books a resolution which would, 
he contended, be fatal to any chance of passing a Reform 
Bill that year, instead of moving resolutions on which a 
bill could be framed, was expressed in the House. While, 
on the motion for second reading, renewing his declaration 
that the Government measure would give no satisfaction 
to the working classes, whom it failed to enfranchise, he 
expressed the view that it was hopeless to look for reform 
at the hands of Palmerston and Russell. More, he declared, 
could be got from a weak Tory Government, in touch with 
the House of Lords, than from the Liberals. But his 
antajronism to the bill as brought in remained unabated. 
The Government appealed to th^- country, and Mr. Roebuck 
appeared before his constituents for re-election with the 
remark : " We are here because we would not give our 

" TKAR 'EM:' 


sanction t« n Hlmni." Hr antl his collt'a''u<', Mr. IfmUicld, 
wore rctunio(l witlunit opposition. This was at the end of 
April (l.S.')!)). In May lio attended a iiieetinjf at Miilord 
Haven to advocate tliat Cahvay Packet Scheme ah-eady 
mentioned, to which the Derhy (loveriunent, aiiniii*,' to 
secure Irish snpjjort, had granted a subsidy. This was 
openly called "Tlio Oalway Jm1»." It was then that Mr. 
Roebuck iirst gave token of a new inlluencc. That Reform 
Bill which had been "retrograde" in February and "a 
sham " in April, was found in May to indicate a true 
reforming s})irit on the part of its authors. In his speech 
at Milford he said — 

On June 7, the House of Coinnions would liave to chooso 
whether the country kIiouM hiive bonl Derby or Lord I'ulinerstou 
for Prime Minister. In what eiim[t . muUI he l)e ? In the ciunp 
of the peoitle of En<,diind, and that t inp, he sincjcrely believed, 
would be oi»posed to Lord PaliuersLou. It was a miserable con- 
tingenoy — whiehever side was i\, ^li^cllIet' uuisL come, 
but he believed that as the greater misehicf would accrue from 
changing the adntinistratiun, Pari! lui- .'t would prevent sneh a 
change. As an independent m' lubcr his eunsideration was for 
England, and for England's sake he ''aid, don't elioose Lord 
Pahnerston, who is false and hollow, iind the great enemy of the 
Liberal party. Lord I'almerston's app<arauee as First Minister 
would be throughout the continent as a toreh of war. 

And in the same speech, Mr. Roebuck sowed the seeds 
of future trouble by speaking of Italy's struggle for 
liberty as likely, at best, to result in a change of masters, 
and by putting himself in antagonism to the public en- 
thusiasm aroused for Kossuth. 

Again, in June, when a meeting was held at Willis's 
Rooms to reunite the Liberal party in view of the Parlia- 
mentary campaign, Mr. Roebuck startled his auditors by 
asking " how, if the Government would promise a thorough 
Reform Bill, the Liberals could oppose them ? " He could 
not, he said, support Lord Palmerston, who had truckled 

» n » 



to France and dragged the country through the mire ; and 
could only form a feeble and divided administration. 
When Parliament met, Lord Hartington proposed a vote 
Oi " no-confidence " on the Address ; and Mr. Roebuck 
spoke and voted against that change of Government which 
he had before described as the first duty of the new Parlia- 
ment. He said the effect would be to let in a Government 
in which he should have less confidence ; that to keep 
Lord Derby's Ministry in office would make them Reformers 
in spite of themselves, and would be the way to get a 
Reform Bill. And in this confidence that the Tories would 
be more sincere Reformers than the Liberals, Mr. Roebuck 
gave his vote with the minority that vainly endeavoured 
to keep them in office. 

To William Fisher {Sheffield). 

June 10, 1859. — If what I said at Milford were new, if the 
expressions I then used wero used by me for the first time, I 
could understand the surprise aud anger expressed ; but the 
language I held ou that occasion I have often held before, and 
my opinion of Lord Palmerstou has been openly and constantly 
avowed. Xo man has rendered Lord Palmerstou greater service 
than I, and this, too, in spite of having spoken very strongly 
against him. I thought that my first judgment respecting him 
was rendered incorrect by his subsequent conduct ; but further 
experience only confirmed my first opinion, and now I believe 
that his advent to power would be a great calamity to England. 
Now, am I, holding this opinion, so far to forget my duty to my 
country as not to act on this opinion, because certain hungry 
peophi may l)e kept out of office iu consequence of my acts ? I 
should indeed be base and unworthy did I yield, and run contrary 
to my own judgment. Tlie hired press accuses me of corruption. 
What have I gained through life ? What will this conduct bring 
me ? Obloquy, the disapprobation of my dearest friends, and no 
personal advantage whatever. I live retired. I keep aloof from 
many associations that would give me great pleasure, in order that 
I may maintain my own proud independence. And yet with all 
this, having dwelt in the very midst of every temptation for a 



quarter of ii ceutury ; having borne as niucli suffering as has 
fallen to the lot of most men, and having never turned to the 
right hand or to the left, I am now, when age and hard work 
have told on me, when I have spout my best years and my 
strength in the service of my country, I am foully accused of 
corruption, and the Whig organs are hounded on to abuse and 
vilify me. And it is required of me that I should hold my peace 
and bow my head, as if I acknowledged the justice of tliis vitu- 
peration ; but they little know me, who expect that this is the 
course that I shall pursue. They shall find that they have hunted 
a tiger when they believed they were chasing a hare ; and to my 
country I appeal with confidence. A short time and my judgment 
will be confirmed. This will not be the first time tliab to my 
opinion the world has come, having at tlie outset deemed me so 
wrong as to think me mad. If my constituents think me utterly 
wrong, and unworthy to be their representative, let tliem say so ; 
to their judgment I am prepared at once to bow ; the time will 
be short which will suffice for them to learn how right were my 
judgments, how wrong their own. ... I am now not acting 
under the influence of strange personal prejudices. I have care- 
fully watched Lord Palmerstou for thirty years, and I feel certain 
that he is utterly unfit to be the leader of England. 

To an American Com'sjwialciif. 

Yannoufh, Isle of Wiijht, Scplcmher U, 1859. — ... I should 
have liked nuich to talk over with you the relations that do, and 
those that ought to, exist between the United States and England. 
There is much retjuired to be done to make the reci[)rocal feelings 
on both sides of the Atlantic such as they ought to be. But do 
not suppose that there exists in England any prejudice against 
the United States. There may be some fools and bigoted people 
who still retain the feelings that many of our forefathers felt. 
But all the enlightened men, and the educated classes generally, 
have very kindly feelings towards those whom we always call our 
brethren on the other side of the water. These kind feelings 
I believe to 1)6 returned by the genuine Americans. You have, 
however, a very active class, whom the injustice of England has 
sent among you — I mean the Irish and their descendants — who 
hate the very name of England. These men are in possession 
very generally of the press in America ; they arc active and they 


k '■ 

It I < 



are noisy, and they give a tone to your periodical press that 
misleads English people. I hope, however, the growing inter- 
conrse between the two peoples, and their growing intelligence, 
are daily rubbing down asperities, and that we shall be, what we 
ought to be as the only free people on the earth, united heart and 
hand against despotism and bad government, wherever found. 

iss that 
^ inter- 
,vhat we 
jart and 

( 283 ) 




At the close of 1859, and in the opening days of 1860, we 
find Mr. Roebuck among his old constituents at Bath, and 
addressing the Mechanics' Institutes of Middlesborough 
and Sheffield on his favourite theme of the education of 
the working classes. In Parliament, Mr. Roebuck's con- 
tribution to the discussions on the commercial treaty with 
France was a protest against truckling to Napoleon III., 
by agreeing to that treaty without having previously 
expressed condemnation of the dishonourable conduct of 
the Emperor in regard to the annexation of Savoy. 

On a Bill regulating Bleaching and Dye Works, Mr. 
Roebuck delivered a speech which made a profound impres- 
sion. Admitting that the fears under which he formerly 
opposed Lord Ashley's factory legislation, had been shown 
by the working of the Acts to be unfounded, he pleaded 
powerfully for the suppression of evils inflicted on women 
and children, which, as recorded before a Parliamentary 
committee, made his blood creep. '* Think," he said, after 
quoting from the evidence — 

Think of the poor child, ^-i compare her work with ours. 
We complain of the labours wL wo undergo, but as compared 

with our life here, it is the life ot ^ao damned I ask you, the 

gentlemen of England, if you will boar this ? I hear groat 'talk 






of humanity — lip humanity — about the American slave. No 
man can view with more indignation than I do the horrible con- 
dition of the black in America ; but I cannot help regarding with 
at least equal indignation the condition of the white slave in 
England. . . . Any one of our daughters might have been a 
factory girl ; and is there any man present with any feeling for 
his child who could think of her working, almost without cessa- 
tion, for thirty-seven hours ? Think of her tender years ; think 
of her delicate little hands. I have it in this book that children's 
hands are often blistered, and the skin torn off their feet, and 
yet they are thus obliged to work, the persons who overlook 
them being sometimes forced to keep them awake by beating on 
the table with large boards. For God's sake, then, I say, don't 
let us listen to the honourable gentleman 1 I appeal to you as 
men ; I appeal to you as fathers ; I appeal to you as brothers ; and 
I ask you, for God's sake, not to be participants in this horrible 
cruelty. The weak and the miserable appeal to you now for 
compassion and for aid ; and I, their humble advocate, also appeal 
to you in perfect confidence that you will listen to their prayer, 
and will pass this measure for their relief. 

It is recorded that the House was deeply moved by 
what was described as one of the most marvellous triumphs 
of rhetoric ever achieved within those walls. 

If oratory is to be judged by the effect it produces in moving 
men's hearts and minds, this speech must ever be remembered as 
the most wonderful piece of oratory of modern times. Mr. Roe- 
buck was under an inspiration ; and though there was still the 
old mannerism which we know so well — still the same short and 
vigorous sentences, and the same tones, yet on this occasion they 
were inspired with a life of passion and feeling that ran through 
the House from heart to heart and mind to mind like an electric 
current, until all the members were moved as trees of the wood 
are moved by the wind. There was little cheering of the rapturous 
sort ; for when the House is deeply moved it does not break out 
into vociferous cheers. Every man's eyes were riveted on the 
speaker ; and when, in suppressed tones and with impressive 
action, he described these poor people as living the life of " the 
damned," there was a silence as of the grave, broken at the end 




of the sentence by what the reporters call "cheers," but which 
were more like deep sighs than cheers. Almost immediately after 
Roebuck sat down the House divided ; and to the astonishment 
of the poor bleachers and the dismay of the masters, there were, 
for the second reading of the Bill, 230 ; against it, only 39. 

The. Earl of Shafleshunj to J. A. Roehuch. 

24, GroHvenor Square, March 22, 18G0. — It is impossible that 
I should refrain from thanking you for your heart-stirring speech 
of last night. The \vretched girls and women of the bleach 
works will owe you, and will pay, a deep debt of gratitude. God 
grant that the issue of this movement may be (and who can 
doubt it ?) as happy and successful as that on behalf of the 
factory population. Thousands of these females, who would 
otherwise have been mere specimens of degradation and suffer- 
ing, are now fulfilling the duties, the honours, and the joys of 
exemplary daughters, wives, and mothers. And who have been 
injured ? The trade has increased tenfold ; the profits of the 
mill-owners approach to the fabulous ; wages are raised ; educa- 
tion is extended ; the people are satisfied ; the mastere admit tlie 
moral, physical, and financial improvement of all classes ; and 
a good understanding (the object I ever had in view) prevails 
between employers and employed. Once more let me say that 
eloquence and feeling were never better applied than in your 
speech yesterday. 

Mr. Koebuck's letter in reply is published in Mr. 
Header's " Life of the Earl of Shaftesbury," vol. ii. p. 20.5. 
But Lord Shaftesbury's biographer is scarcely justified in 
calling Mr. Roebuck's speech a " recantation." For, while 
deprecating interference with adult labour, as long ago as 
1843, he had earnestly advocated placing restrictions on 
the employment of children of tender years.* 

In the autumn of 1860, Mr. Roebuck visited Austria, 
where changes in the direction of giving a constitutional 
and representative Government to a hitherto despotic 
Empire, were in progress. The spectacle, on the one hand, 
of a courageous and liberal-minded Emperor advancing his 

* Ante, p. 148, chap. xiii. 



i if 


■p I l ll t ll 




people in freedom ; on the other, of the people rising to the 
use of that freedom, through many difficulties, in a quiet 
and practical manner, greatly interested the old political 

He exerted himself in strenuous advocacy of an Anglo- 
Austrian Alliance, which, in his view, would be irresistible 
in Europe, while immensely promoting the mutual advan- 
tage of the two countries. He urged this upon Count 
Apponyi in the following elaborate paper : — 

J. A. Rophuclc to Count Apponyi, 

According to my promise, I put upon paper the substance of 
what I stated to you during our conversation of last Monday. 
The subjects upon which I spoke to you were — 

1. The conduct which Austria should pursue, with respect to 
the Zol-Vercin, and her foreign commerce generally ; and 

2. On the navigation of the Elbe. 

I stated that what I was going to say, was in the character of 
a European statesman, and not as an Englishman merely. I 
assumed, however, that the interests of Europe and England were 
identical ; that what tended to the benefit of England, tended to 
the benefit of the world ; and that what was for the advantage of 
mankind was also beneficial to England. A large assumption, I 
allowed, but I believed a correct one. 

Before speaking of the conduct to be pursued by Austria, I 
described what I conceived to be the position and policy of 
Prussia. At the present moment Prussia, it appeared to me, had 
two opposing purposes in view. The one was to constitute 
herself the head of Germany, the head of the state — in fact, 
wishing to be, in place of King of Prussia, Emperor of Germany ; 
the other was to relax her present protective provisions respecting 
Foreign Trade ; and for that purpose to enter into a commercial 
treaty with France. In order to attain the first of these objects 
she has allied herself with those states who have united to form 
the Zol-Verein and adopted their protective policy. By this 
means, she hoped to persuade these states that she was intensely 
German — thus to acquire power over them, and induce them 
eventually to grant her the headship of the German people. But 
as to relax her trade provisions is to run counter to the feelings 



of these stales, she dares not enter into a commercial treaty with 
France ; and when the time comes for renewing the compact 
of the Zol-Verein in 18G5, she will adhere to that compact, and 
will not enter into any commercial treaty hostile or opposed to 
the wishes of the Zol-Verein. But the states of the Zol-Verein 
wish for, and hope to obtain, the adhesion of Austria to their 
compact. Prussia, indeed, does not wish this adhesion. The 
power rival to herself in Germany is Austria, and she desires to 
constitute herself the one German leader. Now, in these circum- 
stances, would it be the wisest course for Austria to pursue, to 
unite with the Zol-Verein, and thus combat directly with Prussia, 
and struggle with her openly for the German headship ? My 
answer to this question is decidedly in the negative, because I 
believe a far more effective proceeding lies open before her ; 
one which will not merely make her the leading power in Germany, 
but raise her greatly in the opinion of the world at large, and 
place her firmly amongst the first and most powerful nations of 

I assume that Austria has frankly and honestly entered upon 
a constitutional career ; that the constitution granted by the 
Emperor is a real constitution ; that the solemn promise he has 
made, he will loyally and with all honour maintain. If the people 
generally of the Austrian Empire can be induced to believe this, 
Austria will be a united Empire, and, being united, will exercise a 
most important influence in Europe, both politically and morally. 
Now, in order to lead to this most desirable result, England and 
England's opinion may be made a most efficient instrument. 
Once make the people of England believe that Austria, instead of 
being the leader of the despotic powers of Europe, was now really 
a constitutional power, that her people were a free people, 
governing themselves, and ruled by law, and not by one man's 
will, — and then the friendship and warm sympathy of the people of 
England would be enlisted on the side of Austria. It is felt here 
that Austria has no interests hostile to England. "We have seen 
her acting with us loyally in times of great danger and difficulty ; 
and we hold her existence and prosperity to be requisite as a 
counterpoise to the other powers which are not friendly, whatever 
may be the smoothness of their professions. If once the undoubt- 
ing good will and good opinion of England could be gained for 
Austria, her internal difficulties would quickly cease. The 



discontent of the so-called Liberal party amonj:^ her people, now 
fostered and maintained by the noisy press of England, would no 
longer receive support, and would soon die out ; the sentimental 
talk now so prevalent among us would be laughed at, and put 
an end to by scorn and contempt, and Austria and England, 
shoulder to shoulder, would govern the opinions and the policy of 
Europe. And this brings me to the practical conclusion from this 
long preamble. What can Austria do to convince the people of 
England that she is earnest ? I know not whether you have 
remarked that, though we exercise a mighty, and I will say a 
beneficial influence upon all the affairs of Europe, there is a marked 
hate of everything English in the minds of most of the rulers of 
Europe. Nowhere is this more shown, in spite of all alliances, 
than in Prussia. This dislike, this hate, is caused by two things — 
our freedom, and our success. Our success is also twofold ; we 
have been successful in war, but we have been and are successful 
in commerce. Now, despotic governors hate our freedom ; and 
the people of Europe under the influence of despotism and 
ignorance hate our commercial success. In no country has this 
feeling been more manifest than in Germany. The legislation of 
the Zol-Verein has been more hostile, and directly hostile, to 
England than has been that of France, and an Englishman is 
treated with far more courtesy in France than he is in Germany. 
The adhesion of Austria to the Zol-Verein would lead England to 
believe that she participated in those feelings which distinguish 
that body, and our belief that [they were] caused by our com- 
mercial success and our freedom would be invincible. And this 
being so, to hope that our people would forget the past history of 
Austria, and believe that she had begun a new career of freedom, 
would indeed be idle and illusory. But if Austria would free 
herself from commercial, as she has done from political, despotism ; 
if she would throw her ports and country open to English 
commerce ; if she would benefit her own people by allowing our 
manufacturers and merchants to have free access to them, she 
would do much to conciliate our good will, and convince us that 
she was really free, and really bent upon making her people 
happy, and furthering good will and peace among mankind. 
Here, then, comes my practical conclusion — one to which I would 
invite the serious attention of the statesmen of your country. It 
is not to the petty clerj:s, not to the narrow-minded men of 




iTii; .;i-iB8ihritni<eBti mt'ca 



office, that I address myself. These men liave too long swayed 
the destinies of mankind, bnt now I hope a new era has begun. 
I hope that men of true intelligence are henceforth to govern 
among you ; that your leaders will raise their minds to the height 
of their position ; and that we shall have large and benevolent 
principles guiding their conduct, instead of wretched rules framed 
by narrow ignorance. The practical conclusion to which I come 
is : Instead of joining the Zol-Verein, let Austria enter into a 
liberal commercial treaty with England. Let her make Trieste 
the rival of Marseilles. Let her attract commerce up the Adriatic, 
and let her vast resources find an outlet by means of English 
enterprise and capital. Let it be sent to every quarter of the 
globe, and let her take her true position among the nations of the 
world ; and let her be, as she ought by her capabilities to be, 
the great leading, guiding continental power. 

It unluckily happened that Mr. Roebuck's visit to 
Vienna was contemporaneous with efforts on the part of 
the Lever group to obtain certain shipping, or banking, 
or railway concessions from the Austrian Government. An 
inquiry before a Parhamentary committee, and actions in 
the law courts, had thrown much light on the devious 
ways of the Galway Packet Company. So far as Mr. 
Roebuck was concerned, the facts only redounded to his 
honour. Attracted by the advantages accruing to Ireland 
through establishing direct steam communication between 
Galway and the United States, he had thrown himself 
warmly into the scheme of Mr. John Orrell Lever and 
Father Daly, and had allowed himself to be made a 
provisional Director of the Galway Company. But speedily 
finding that this brought him into association with men 
whose ways were not his ways, and who were actuated 
by motives far different from his own, he washed his hands 
of the whole transaction. The promoters had reserved 
£10,000 in paid-up shares for distribution among them- 
selves. Mr. Roebuck not only refused to receive the pro- 
portion offered to him, but he retired from the provisional 
Board, and never became a Director of the Company as 





finally constituted. He had, however, been so perilously 
near the flame that, until his upright conduct was fully 
and authoritatively vindicated, he for a time suffered some- 
what in popular estimation l>y the association of his name 
with a venture that speedily got into ill favour ; and his 
companionship with Mr. Lever, at Galway, and Milford, and 
Bolton, and Vienna, gave colour to suspicion, more or less 
openly expressed, both in Parliament and outside. It was 
further unfortunate that, through Lever's influence, Mr. 
Roebuck became connected with various ill-starred bank- 
ing enterprises which, throughout some years, brought 
upon him much anxiety and annoyance. 

His expressed admiration for Austria exposed him to 
misapprehension of another kind. It was not his encourage- 
ment of Austrian reachings towards constitutional govern- 
ment that alarmed Liberals. What aroused their dis- 
approbation was the fact that this sympathy led him into 
a defence of Austria's retention of her Italian possessions. 
For it has to be remembered that at this time the struggle 
for Italian unity was exciting the intense sympathy of the 
English people. With pained disfavour they had watched 
the cession of Savoy and Nice to France, but this shock 
had been largely forgotten in the enthusiasm caused by 
Garibaldi's overthrow of the Neapolitan Government, and 
the assumption by Victor Emmanuel of the title of King 
of Italy. Austria's occupation of Venetia stood menacingly 
opposed to " Italy for the Italians ; " and when Mr. Roe- 
buck, in the House of Commons, boldly declared it to be 
England's duty to prevent the expulsion of Austria, he ran 
counter to national opinion, and scandalized many of his 
most loyal admirers. It is easy to see now that, amid the 
excitements of the moment, the sentences in which Mr. 
Roebuck advocated the retention by Austria of her Italian 
possessions, stood out in such relief as to rivet public 
attention, and to blind men's eyes to the broad argument 
of which they were the mere setting. That argument wa& 



nd lus 
'd, and 
or less 
It was 
ie, Mr. 


him to 
eir dis- 
lim into 
of the 
s shock 
ised by 
snt, and 
if King 
Y. Roe- 
lit to be 
,, he ran 
of his 
id the 
ich Mr. 
ent was 


based upon the distrust, so long preached by ]\Ir. Roebuck, 
of France and its Emperor. French troops were in occu- 
pation of Rome, and thus, even if Austria were out of the 
way, Mr. Roebuck maintained that Franco rendered Italian 
unity impossible. The presence of Austria in Venctia 
was, ho insisted, an essential counterpoise to France, 
Austria presenting a valuable obstacle to the aggrandizing 
designs of Napoleon — an obstacle all the more formidable 
because of the growth of enlightenment and constitutional 
government under Francis Joseph. By the public at large, 
however, this contention that Austria was necessary as 
a counterpoise to prevent the Italian people becoming the 
vassals of France, was overlooked or derided. What fired 
the popular indignation was the spectacle of Mr. Roebuck 
warning the English Government of the danger of the 
course they were pursuing in endeavouring to exclude 
Austria from her dominion in Venetia. There was the 
fact. They would not listen to reasons. " Considering 
both the interests of England and Italy, I say it is our duty 
to prevent the expulsion of Austria from Venetia at present." 
On that sentence, friends and foes alike fastened in angry 

Immediately there arose a general cry of remon- 
strance, nowhere louder than in Mr. Roebuck's own 
constituency. Although a demand that he should go down 
to Sheffield to explain a speech which had caused " wide- 
spread surprise and regret," proceeded only from a small 
knot of self-constituted nobodies, calling themselves " the 
friends of Italian liberty," Mr. Roebuck at once asked the 
Mayor to convene a public meeting. 

/. A. RoehicJc to R. J. Gainsfor/l (Sheffield). 

March 28, 18G1. — I believe that the outcry raised against 
me has, in the first place, originated in selfish interest, and 
next, from ignorance ; and I hope that a plain tale, and what I 
deem unanswerable arguments, will at once put an end to bare 



impututionB und to foolish luiHtnkcs. Tho <|UCHtionH on which I 
had to decide were grave, were momentous questioim. I brought 
to their decision sucli abilities us God has given me, and perfect 
disinterestedness. All this I shall be able plainly to show, 
and I only ivsk for a patient hearing. I think all right-seeing 
men will agree with me, und I am sure that all honest men 
will acquit mo of dishonesty ; for with dishonesty I have been 
charged after thirty years of completely gratuitous labour for 
the public. 

Tho first meeting, owing to the clamour of those 
excluded, and to tho crowded discomfort of those admitted, 
was broken up in confusion ; but on the following day, in 
a larger hall, Mr. Roebuck won a respectful hearing. It 
was a triumph of combined pluck and skill. The spectacle 
of the dauntless veteran, shattered in health, and physically 
fragile, unflinchingly facing his accusers, scornfully defying 
detraction, and vindicating his integrity before an audience 
watchmlly unsympathetic, was one that appealed strongly 
to Yorkshire hearts. It may be safely said that the whole 
assembly felt pride in the bearing of the old man at bay, 
and an almost personal relief in the completeness with which 
he brushed away every breath of suspicion on his integrity. 
But in endeavouring to make palatable to Italian sympa- 
thizers his defence of Austria's continued presence in Italy, 
he had a task beyond even his great powers. 

The meeting heard him patiently — and retained its 
own opinion. It declared itself perfectly satisfied with 
Mr. Roebuck's explanation in reply to the attacks on his 
uprightness, asserting its complete confidence in his personal 
worth and political integrity. As to Austria, however, a 
resolution was passed which adroitly glossed over the points 
of difference, and emphasized those on which both sides 
were agreed. But there was a grimly significant hint in 
its expression of " ardent sympathy with the ettbrts of the 
Italians to free their country from internal tyrants and 
external domination," and in its hope " that before long 

which I 
1 perfect 


eat men 
ivc been 
hour for 

if those 
; day, in 
:ing. It 
• defying 
be whole 
L at bay, 
th which 

1 sympa- 
in Italy, 

Eiined its 
ied with 
cs on his 
I personal 
)wever, a 
he points 
oth sides 
t hint in 
rts of the 
:ants and 
fore long 


Venotia and Uonio may be peacefully united to the Italian 

Mr. Roebuck's visions, founded on the beginninn- of 
Austrian constitutionalism, were subscciuentiy dimmed by 
the establishment of the dual government of Austria- 
Wungary Ho looked upon this as a source of future weak- 
ness as he held that an empire to bo really strong should 
not have its governing and executive powers divided His 
objections to Irish Home Rule were largely based on the 
same reasons. 

To n. ./. (iainsford {Slifflhlil). 
Ocfohor?,0 18|;i._l „ha„ rc,ul with much attention and 
huve no doubt with instniction ulso, your urticlo on lll^j 
I oar however the people of this country are so wilfully M d,' 

I hat they will be taught their error, I am convineed. In the 
mean time all I have to do is to bear abuse as best f may 


j ( 






Although Mr. Roebuck had triumphed over his detractors 
as to the suspicions excited by the Galway contract, and 
had beaten down the hostility raised by his tolerance of 
Austrian dominion in Italy, it would be erroneous to 
suppose that the old terms of cordiality between himself 
and influential sections of his constituents had been re- 
established. The resolution passed on his Austrian policy 
was, read between the lines, practically a verdict of " Not 
guilty — but don't do it again." The rift within the lute had 
been temporarily stopped, not permanently healed, and Mr. 
Roebuck, instead of taking pains to prevent it from widen- 
ing, seemed rather to seek opportunities for discordantly 
playing on the cherished convictions of his supporters. 
Thus, in one of the many lectures on education, delivered 
by him at mechanics' and other institutions in different 
parts of the country, he contrived to introduce words which, 
rightly or wrongly, were immediately interpreted as a dire 
insult to the working classes of Sheffield. This was at 
Salisbury, on January 16, 1862. He was contrasting the 
modes of life and the home surroundings of different classes 
of society — of the educated man, the mercantile clerk, the 
agricultural labourer, and the artisan. And, speaking of 
the large wages earned by iron- workers, he asked — 

How is the life of the man in the north passed, who earns 
wages of that high character ? He gets up in the morning and 




j^oos to work. }fe comes homo, and the first thing ho usually 
does is to swear at his wife. Perhaps he heats his cliildren, and 
then he caresses his dog. His whole life is i)assed in mere 
sensual enjoyment ; getting drnnk is his chief business in life ; 
and when he has got drunk, his next business is to get sober. 

A few sentences earlier Mr. Roebuck had said that he was 
speaking of that which he had known, and was " thinking 
of his constituents in the north," when he described the 
working classes as herding together more like animals of 
the brute creation than men and women. In the offence 
given by thus speaking of the faults of the worst as if 
typical of the whole class, the excellent incitements to 
education which Mr. Roebuck's address supplied were for- 
gotten, and hot indignation at the picture thus drawn for 
the benefit of the Wiltshire people, of the workmen of 
Sheffield, obliterated all other considerations. Again, 
attempts at temperance legislation, such as the Permissive 
Bill and Mr. Somes's Sunday Sale of Beer Bill, evoked Mr. 
Roebuck's fiercest denunciation. It was when asking the 
House to refuse leave to introduce the latter measure (May 
(j, 1864) that Mr. Roebuck spoke of Sabbatarians and 
teetotallers as " two muddy streams," which, after running 
side by side for some time, " had at last united their waters, 
and now they formed one foaming, muddy river, which it 
was difficult to stem, and very disagreeable to see and to 
smell." " If," he said, " the promoters of the Bill were any- 
thing more than canting hypocrites, they would propose a 
law for the rich as well as the poor." He " spat " at a Bill 
which was " canting legislation " intended to turn the 
nation into a sour, ascetic, hypocritical people. 

Of still wider importance, because tending to embroil 
England in the great struggle then being waged between 
the Northern and Southern States of the Union, was Mr. 
Roebuck's attitude towards America, and the language he 
used of her. In August, 1JSG2, he took advantage of a 
visit paid by Lord Palmerston to Sheffield to urge on his 

f ii 



i % 





lordship immediate recognition of Southern independence. 
He stigmatized the attempt to reunite the states of America 
as an immoral proceeding, totally incapable of success. 
They could, he declared, never be united. The conduct of 
the people of the North to this country he described as 
"insolent and overbearing." A divided America, he pro- 
tested, would be a benefit to England. And an additional 
sting was given to the following words by the fact of their 
being uttered in Lord Palmerston's presence — indeed, 
almost addressed to him personally : " The North will 
never be our friends. Of the South you can make friends. 
They are Englishmen. They are not the scum and refuse 
of Europe." It was reported that Lord Palmerston said of 
one of Mr. Roebuck's speeches on the recognition of the 
Confederate States, that it was "a devilish good speech," 
and just his opinion, but he could not officially say so. 

Mr. Roebuck lost no opportunity of using all his 
influence on the side of the South. He advocated its cause 
at meetings of his constituents ; in Parliament he moved 
an address to the Crown praying her Majesty to enter into 
negotiations with the great Powers of Europe to obtain 
their co-operation in recognizing the Confederates. This 
motion had been preceded by, and was indeed largely based 
upon, a remarkable transaction. Mr. Lindsay, member for 
Sunderland, who had the entree, of the Tuileries by reason 
of having been consulted on navigation matters, accom- 
panied by Mr. Roebuck, had proceeded to Paris, with 
endeavour to stimulate Napoleon to take active steps 
towards acknowledging the South. They were accorded 
an audience. The inevitable result of amateur diplomacy 
followed. None of the parties to the interview agreed as 
to what actually took place. The Emperor disavowed, or 
declined to be bound by the version Mr. Roebuck gave to 
the House of Commons of the conversation. The amaze- 
ment and amusement with which this mission to the 
" perjured despot " of a few years ago was received by the 

.« — ^._^Ji«"' ' 

. ■ia)y;s--. -iiite i f"'~ S=^ V »i .' , ; „ • ( ••< 'ti UMi i ^ tih fy i e ' ja m 



general public, was expressed in very pungent sarcasms by- 
speakers like Lord Kobert Montagu and Mr. Bright. Lord 
Palmerston pointed out the embarrassments inevitable upon 
communicating to the House of Commons matters that had 
passed between private members and the sovereign of a 
foreign country; and on his strong representations, Mr. 
Roebuck reluctantly abandoned his motion. 

In 1863 there was a movement in Sheffield to bring into 
the field a local candidate for the representation of the 
Borough — Sir John Brown. He had twice filled the office 
of mayor, and his large share in promoting the industries 
of the town encouraged those anxious for a change in the 
representation to put him forward " on commercial grounds 
only, and not as a political movement." It was, however, 
pretty well understood that the candidature was directed 
against Mr. Roebuck. It was with reference to this 
threatened opposition, and the manner in which it was met 
by his supporters, that Mr. Roebuck wrote the following 
letter — 


J. A. Roebuck fo Robert Leaifer {Sheffield). 

Sivanage, September 21, 18G3. — My dear Sir, — I have read 
both your articles with great pleasure, and much admire the 
frank and straightforward manner in which you speak of all 
parties. The amount of knowledge of men and things which 
is really required to furnish forth an effective and competent 
politician is very little thought of, or known. In a country 
like England, and in an assembly like the House of Commons, 
every act of one who is a portion of the Sovereignty is attended 
by a terrible responsibility, because it may be fraught with terrible 
consequences. It may seem a strange thing for me to say ; but 
truly I never speak in the House of Commons without dread and 
without hesitation. It is not that I am not self-possessed — it is 
not of myself I am thinking when fear comes upon me. But 
when I know that every word uttered there resounds throughout 
the world, and may bring suffering to thousands, then it is that 
I tremble, and pray for wisdom and sagacity. Looking thus upon 
the office of a representative of the people before I proposed to 



assume it, I went tbroutrli a careful and severe traininf?. I spent 
my youth in study, and went carefully over the vast fields of 
political science. And I own that I view with wonder the 
audacity and rashness of those men who come from other walks 
of life, without training, without even thought, and take upon 
themselves the performance of the most arduous duties that a 
man can assume. After havinj? given hours and days, nay, years, 
of patient thought and careful inquiry to the formation of an 
opinion, I find men, upon the mere impulse of the moment, or 
the suggestions of some passing interest, suddenly forming and 
vehemently maintaining opinions hostile to mine, and at once 
branding me as a fool and a knave, because I differ from them. 
Heaven knows I do not pretend that I am always right — but I 
do assume that there is a greater chance of my being right than 
a man who, without pains or study, has formed a conclusion : 
and I assume also that the conduct of my life ought to protect 
me from imputations of baseness or folly — imputations which 
flippant insolence so easily makes, and which inherent unworthi- 
ness so readily suggests. But I fear you will deem me egotistical. 
Bear with me, however. You hardly know what obloquy he 
encounters who, as a politician, seeks to serve his country. 

To Mrs. Roehmh. 

Munich, Novemhor 21, 18G3. — You will be surprised at the 

date, that is as regards the place. takes as much care of 

me as if I were a woman, and determined to remain here to-day, 
and start to-morrow. I have been again to the picture-galleries, 
and have come to the conclusion that the pictures are nothing 
wonderful. We, after the pictm'e-galleries, went to call on Lord 
Augustus Loftus. We talked politics, and he was very curious 
to know what I thought of the Emperor N. after my interview 
with him, and then gave me his thoughts on the present state 
of things, wanting me to try to influence Austrian politics with 
respect to Prussia. He said that Austria was greatly in my debt, 
and that she ought to listen to me. But my belief is that nothing 
can be done in the sense he wished. From Lord A. L. we 
went to the Sculpture-Gallery, and to the Dominican Church — 
the marbles poor, the church tawdry. At Paris we alighted at 
the Grand Hotel. The first person I met was Gudin, whom I 
used to see at the house of Frank Mills. He, G., was then a 





jijrciit frienfl of tlie Orleans family. Now, be said, " I wisli you 
could stay to see my f^rand picture of the Emperor Napoleon." 
Thus runs the world away. 

Although Mr. Roebuck declined (July, 1864) to vote for 
Mr. Disraeli's motion attacking the Government for its 
policy on the Schleswig-Holstein question, he impartially 
indulged in severe criticism at the expense of the leaders 
of both parties, and strongly assailed Prussia, describing it 
as a compound of pedagogue, drill-sergeant, and highway- 
man. His old distrust of Lord Palmerston was changed 
almost into confidence by contrast with his inveterate dis- 
belief in Earl Russell, for condemnation of whose foreign 
policy he could find no words too strong. Lord Palmerston, 
he said, would have done very differently if rid of his 
Foreign Secretary. And in the next month, at Sheffield, 
Mr. Roebuck made a very unusual confession. He acknow- 
ledged Lord Palmerston's superior wisdom in not acting 
as he would have had him act towards America and 

n William miff {Shoffidcl). 

April 2G, 1804. — I do not think that giving the suffrage to 
all men of thirty years of age would be any real protection 
against unworthy persons. If precaution be necessary, something 
more effective than restriction as to age ought to be found. The 
more I consider the matter, the more puzzled I become. In order 
to make the interests of the representatives co-extensive with 
those of the represented, something very near to universal suffrage 
is necessary ; but we cannot shut our eyes to the danger resulting 
from power being placed in the hands of the ignorant. That 
danger can, I believe, be avoided only by careful and slow proceed- 
ings. We ought, in my opinion, to take every safe opportunity 
offered for enlarging the suffrage, and we ought in every way to 
promote the education of the people. I have great faith in my 
countrymen ; but the experience of America frightens me. I am 
not ashamed to use the word friijhtened. During my whole life 
I have looked to that country as about to solve the great problem 
of self-government, and now, in my old age, the hopes of my 

! I 





youth and manhood are destroyed, and I am left to reconstruct 
my political philosophy, and doubt and hesitation beset me on 
every point. I don't know how you, as an old reformer, feci ; 
but I must acknowledge that I am very uncomfortable. 

At this period Mr. Roebuck further disappointed that 
section of his constituents which had resented his pro- 
Austrian sympathies by throwing the cold water of pru- 
dence on the heroic measures they wished to see taken 
in aid of the struggles of the Poles for freedom. As to 
Ireland, he denied the existence of any troubles that were 
not self-made and self-curable; and in connection with 
disturbances in New Zealand, he reiterated with unmiti- 
gated harshness his often-proclaimed views on the inevitable 
law that the price of civilized colonization is the extermi- 
nation of aborigines. The sooner, he said, the Maoris 
were destroyed, the better.* 

All these things united many sections of Mr. Roebuck's 
constituents in strong disapprobation of their member. It 
was not only that they differed from his views. They were, 
indeed, fairly well accustomed to his habit of putting his 
truths in exaggerated and paradoxical forms. " Roebuck," 
it was remarked, "is always saying something which is 
lying at the bottom of other people's minds, but which 
other people do not say. They keep it for examination 
and modification before it is allowed to come into free 
thought or open words. Roebuck digs it up, and puts it 
before us, and makes us look it full in the face at once. 
Sometimes we do not thank him for the office" — and 
assuredly he was not thanked by those who had been 
vivisected as a warning to the rest. These were wounded 
by his aggressive ways, and by biting epigi'ams whose 
rankling pain caused angry indifference to the substance of 
the arguments they were intended to enforce. He had 

* He had no sentimental illueions regarding the North American Bed 
Indian, whom he has somewhere described as a " melancholy man," and as 
such destined to fade before a more vigorous race. 

J' iX 


m .■iismm' 



inn ^iifMi» 



thus secured for himself an exceedingly hot reception when, 
on the dissolution of Parliament in the summer of 1865, he 
went down to Sheffield for re-election. Mr. Roebuck boldly- 
defied his critics at a great open-air meeting. There, on an 
extemporized rival platform, were gathered in fierce array 
temperance men, bent on avenging the " muddy stream " 
and " canting hypocrite " epithets, and the Bill that had 
been " spat " upon. There were the sympathizers with the 
North, angry at the " scum and refuse of Europe " speeches ; 
and the friends of Italy and Poland, and the humanitarians 
shocked at the doctrine of exterminating the black man. 
To these were added others unreasonably, but all the more 
furiously, discontented on a local water question. Mr. 
Roebuck was unfairly charged with having espoused the 
cause of the water company against the town, in matters 
arising out of the calamity of the bursting of the Bradfield 
reservoir, and the sins imputed to him on this matter out- 
weighed even the opprobrious description he had given at 
Salisbury of the working man. There had been various 
attempts to modify, or explain away, the many offending 
sarcasms. In the House of Commons, Roebuck himself, 
replying to Mr. Bright, had said that " the scum of Europe " 
was applied to the armies, not to the people of the North. 
He sought to limit the description of drunken working men 
who beat their wives and caress their dogs, as applied to 
individual instances, not to a whole class; and as to the 
" canting hypocrites," he wrote — 

\ i 

I 11 

\ \ 

I ! 


J. A. Roehitck to Robert Leader. 

The words " canting hypocrites " were not used at Sheffield, 
but in the House of Commons. They must be taken in the 
context, and I should then hope that Mr. Barber will not deem 
them applicable to himself. The subject on which I was speaking 
was not the Permissive, but the Sunday Closing Bill. I had 
given notice that, if this latter .:''ll were carried, I would in 
committee move a clause compelling the close of all the clubs 
in London at the same time that the public-liouses were to be 


I < 



closed ; and I said that any one who voted for closing the public- 
house of the poor man, and would not vote for closing the club 
of the rich, was a canting hypocrite. I said this then, and I say 
it now ; but I cannot believe that any honest man would take 
offence at such a statement, and put the cap upon his own head. 
This is my answer, and all that I can say. 

But these offences were too rank to be glossed over by- 
explanations. There was only one course open, and it was 
entirely in consonance with Mr. Roebuck's temper and 
inborn pugnacity to take it. This was bold and open 
defiance. Speaking at the excited open-air meeting, he 
said — 

I leave my fate in your hands. I am not afraid of the result. 
I believe that I have done my duty honestly. I know I have 
done it fearlessly. I don't fear you. I don't fear anybody. 
What I think right I say. What I think right I do ; and that 
is the only promise I make you. . . . Now, gentlemen (turning 
to the medley crowd of his opponents), what have you got 
to say ? 

The Times wrote — 

When Roebuck made his parting salutation, several inglorious 
carcases were di'agged away. Indeed, if there be a teetotaller 
now left in Sheffield, he must be in a very mangled state. 
Roebuck's fight with the wild beasts of Sheffield might have 
entitled him to be member for Ephesus. ... It used to be a 
favourite doctrine with the last generation of bull-baiters that 
the bull liked the baiting quite as much as the dogs or the 
spectators. Roebuck evidently took an intense joy in his baiting. 
No one came within reach of his horn but he went high in air 
and came down howUng. . . . The meeting voted him back to 
his seat by a majority of ten to one. Mr. Roebuck was reminded 
by his audience that he has been member for Sheffield for sixteen 
years, and this is the style in which he has always treated them.. 
He is as safe with the men of Sheffield as the Lord of the Manor 
of Boroughbridge used to be when he was returned by the votes 
of his butler and his bailiff. It is very creditable both to the 
representajiive and to the town. We do not often agree with Mr. 


be a 
>r the 
liii air 
Lck to 
J votes 
|o the 



Roebuck, and we arc sometimes ol)li<;ed to say hard things of 
him, but it is liighly to the honour of a great constituency like 
that of ShetReld that they can abide faithfully by a man who, 
when it pleases him, votes agi.inst their public opinions and their 
local interests, and abide by him from sheer admiration of his 
pluck and honesty of purpose. It is refreshing to see a friend- 
ship like this between a man with a strong will and a constituency 
with a tolerant appreciation for a sturdy, though often mistaken, 
love of truth. Of the electors of Sheffield who make IMr. 
Roebuck's place in the House of Commons so secure, there is 
probably not one who approves much more than half what he 
says and does. Yet the vast majority accept him for what they 
like, and tolerate in him what they dislike ; and they protect 
him against the enemies he makes by the unmeasured scorn he 
pours upon all that is mean, or sectional, or socially tyrannical ; 
and they seem to like him the better the more he scolds them. 
It is a piece of our electioneering system that deserves to be 
noted and applauded. 

Mr. Roebuck's seat was, however, by no means so safe 
as the Times supposed. A very significant sign was that 
Mr. Dunn, the last man to be moved by effusive ck^mour, 
or to lose sight of substance in phrases, retired from the 
chairmanship of his election committee. rJut Mr. Roebuck 
received undesigned help from his opponents themselves. 
At first a Mr. Probyn, a most respectable moderate Liberal, 
had been brought out. It was soon manifest, however, 
that his candidature would be a greater danger to Mr. 
Hadfield than to Mr. Roebuck ; so he withdrew. Mr. 
Campbell Foster, a barrister with loud declamatory powers, 
was then selected, but the violence of his attack defeated 
itself, for its virulence rallied many semi-alienated waverers 
to Mr. Roebuck's side, and convinced reasonable men that 
Mr. Foster, with all his professions, would be an ill exchange 
for Mr. Roebuck, with all his faults. 

One summer evening, at the commencement of the 
election contest, there was a very striking scene in Paradise 
Square, where Sheffield's great opeu-air meetings are held. 



Mr. Campbell Foster's briel' seemed to consist of the words, 
" No case, abuse the other side." In a ferocious attack he 
injudiciously taunted Mr. Roebuck with not having dared 
to be present. The prompt rei)ly was the appearance, 
amid intense excitement and enthusiasm, of Mr. Roebuck 
and Mr. Hadfield in a carriage. They were accompanied 
by a brewer's dray filled with their supporters. These 
vehicles, forced through the crowd, were drawn up at the 
foot of the steps whence Mr. Foster spoke, and throughout 
the remainder of the speech Mr. Roebuck sat impassively 
listening to a crudely lurid picture of himself, sketched by 
his assailant. There was an animated wordy warfare 
between the partisans of the two sides, but the confusion 
was too great to enable Mr. Roebuck to make his voice 
heard above the clamour. Both sides claimed the vote, so 
that it was a drawn battle; but the dramatic episode is 
still famous in local annals. With a beginning like this, 
the electoral proceedings were characterized by no lack of 
animation. But although there was a fourth candidate in 
the field to abstract votes (the Hon. F. Wortley, who, dis- 
sociating himself from the Tory politics of his family, 
solicited election as a moderate — very moderate — Liberal), 
the result was the return of the old members: Roebuck, 
3410 ; Hadfield, 3348 ; Wortley, 2626 ; Foster, 1576. 
The following letters relate to this period : — 

To William Fisher {Sheffield). 

May 12, 1865. — I said [in reply to an intimation that the 
coming election would be very severe and expensive] that I was 
not prepared for any great expense, and that if I was told that 
great expense would be entailed on me, I should make my bow 
and retire ; that if the people of Sheffield were not satisfied 
with me as their representative they had only to say so, and that 
I would at once relieve them of all difficulty, so far as I was 
concerned, by withdrawing at once ; that if I, after three and 
thirty years of service, was to be called upon to pay largely for 
the honour of representing Sheffield, I was not prepared to 


P' ■■ B^— M 



ck he 
at the 
shed by 
is voice 
vote, so 
(isode is 
ike this, 
) lack oi 
lidate in 
?ho, dis- 

that the 
lat I was 
bold that 
my how 
and that 
las I was 
iree and 
firgely for 
spared to 

aucopt the representation on tliosc terms, and that I was quite 
prepared for the quiet and ohscurity of private life. 

To William Fisher. 

May m, 180'). — Do not fancy that I shall take a verdict from 
any hut a puhlic meetinj,'. I intend to see my constituents face 
to face ; to meet those who find fault with me before the great 
body of the people. I never yet quailed before any opposition ; 
and I am not yet so old as to have lost my head or my heart. 
My cause, I know, is a good one, and I rather fancy I know how 
to deal with my fellow-countrymen in puhlic meeting assembled. 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

Sheffield, July 7, 1805. — AVell, we had our turn last night at 
a large meeting in the Temperance Hall, at which the opposing 
party did ail they could to prevent my being heard, but as our 
friends were twenty to one, silence was at length compelled by 
turning one noisy fellow out of the meeting more hastily than 
ceremony or courtesy required. I then had my say, and warmed the 
people completely, and we carried our motion triumphantly, show- 
ing that at the poll, the result will be as already predicted. We 
called on the Browns ; he is ill in bed, and poor Jlrs. Brown said 
she had not slept for a week. Everybody is very kind ; and the 
Fishers really seem as if they could not do enough to show their 
friendship. The Southern (West-Riding) Division election seems 
getting on well — and all our friends are busy and fully on the 
alert. There is no doubt of the result. 

Sheffield, July 10, 1865. — I have really no news; things are 
going on, in their actual train, and everything, so far as I can 
judge, promises an easy victory. The vulgar abuse of Sir. Foster 
does no harm to anybody but himself, and if the feeling shown 
at the public meetings be any guide, the matter is really decided. 
Should the result be different from what I now expect, it would 
indeed be a great surprise — I suppose it is my being older that 
makes me feel the trouble more now than formerly — and, indeed, 
the disgust that comes over me at times is so great, that I am 
inclined to say, " Let it go to the devil. I will not stir in the 
business more." This does not arise because I am doubtful, but 
because of the shock to my dignity, and to the respect that 
I feel is my due. If ever a man passed a life of purity and 

I ! 



(lisintcrestcdness, I have done so, and yet that every venal, vul,t,'ar 
blackguard may raise up his foul voice agaiust me, is to me 
a cause of shame as well as of disgust. However, this way of 
talk is idle ; I am in for it, and must abide the result. As 
to Mill's election, I am in the dark, though my instinct tells \w 
that it will be Mill and Smith. P.S.— I have just come from 
a meeting of working men, and have nearly had my arm pulled 
off shaking hands. 

Mr. Roebuck had taken an active interest in the election 
of his old friend, John Stuart Mill, for Westminster. In 
April, when the Liberals were considering the rival claims 
of Mr. Mill and Mr. Coningham, late M.P. for Brighton, 
he had warmly championed Mr. Mill's cause. One speech, 
in which he pronounced an eloquent eulogium on Mr. Mill's 
fitness, contained some interesting reminiscences as to their 
early association. 

Ho and I were young men together, and he, in fact, though the 
younger of the two, was the leader. Ho taught me pretty much 
all I know upon politics and philosophy. He was my guide. 
I followed him, and I owe him a greater debt of gratitude than 
I owe to any man, living or dead. I cannot help thinking of 
those days and those hours we spent together in the investigation 
of great subjects — 

" For we spent them not in toys, or lust, or wiuo, 
But search of deep philosophy, 
Wit, eloquence, and poetry — 
ArtB which I loved ; for they, my friend, were thine." 

The House of Commons ought to contain some man whoso 
mind is of such an order that he should represent the thought, 
the philosophy, the great powers of the thinking people of 
England. Where is surh a man to be found ? I look to my 
early friend, and there corrus over me a melancholy as well as 
a pleasurable thought — melancholy to think I have not equalled 
the anticipations thafc ht had formed of me ; pleasurable that 
he has more than equalled every hope and aspiration that 
I formed of him. That man does not come to the House of 
Commons unprepared. His mind has been trained and he has. 



\\\ whoso 


eoplo of 

J to my 

well as 


ible that 

on that 

ouse of 

he has. 

Rtndiod Icjfislution as a science. He has ^'ivcn proof of \\\^ fitness 
to every inau who can read a book. 

Mr. Mill, as we all know, was elected, defoiiting Mr. 
W. H. Smith. 13ut Mr. Roebtick afterwards •shared tho 
general feeling that Mr. ^Mill, in the House of Comnions, 
had not fulfilled the expectations formed when ho entered 
it. This appears from tho following letter, found among liis 
papers and endorsed, "A letter to John Mill that probably 
will never bo sent, and indeed, probably will nover bo 
finished " : — 

J. A. Roehwh to John Stuart Mill. 

April 13, 1HG8. — DkarMill, — After some deliberation I have 
determined to write to you. The time of our youth comis 
back to me, and I call to mind all that I mentally owe to you. 
Our early friendship — tho break in that friendship — and the 
long estrangement that followed, all pass before me, and I ask 
myself what can I hope from this present, this late appeal to 
the mind, maybe to the affection, of my old friend ? Tlie answer, 
I know not what ; no harm can follow, some good may. After 
many years of separation, wo have found ourselves members of 
the same House of Commons. The time is a remarkable one. 
The whole frame of the constitution of England is in a state of 
change — and whether that change shall be for good or evil, 
<lepends much upon the men who preside over and direct that 
change. Now, I have lived my life in the House of Commons, 
and while you have been giving lessons of wisdom to the world 
through books, I have been fighting what I have believed the 
good fight in the great legislative assembly of whicii I have for 
so many years been a member. I did what I cou'd to assist in 
bringing you into Parliament — what little influence I had, I 
gave to that end, and I believe that my efforts were not wholly 
without effect. I did this because I believed that your mind 
and thought, imported into our debates, would really be a new 
era in the history of the House of Commons ; that your clear 
and masculine English style would induce men to listen to the 
teachings of a wise philosophy, and that you would bring to bear 
upon our debates, that whicli they much wanted, a large and 

I ! 



liberal spirit of froneraliziition — a tone of thought and feelinfr 
above that whicli appeared in party strife ; in short, I hoped 
that you would be a philosoplier acting as a legislator — that you 
would enlighten and guide us. I fancied that I had not lived 
for nothing. I believed that I had learned something of human 
dealings in my long Parliamentary career. I had studied, and 
studied carefully the writings of your father, of Bentlmm, and 
yourself, and I believed I saw mistakes that a very little know- 
ledge of the actual business of life would liavo corrected ; but 
I felt certain that the great intellectual power which enabled 
them to write such works as those by ".hich they were im- 
mortalized, would, had it been permitted, have enabled them, 
with very slight experience, to eiTace and rub off those small 
blemishes or mistakes which I fancied my large experience 
enabled me to detect. Full of this idea, and strongly under the 
influence of this feeling, I hailed with something like rapture 
your election for Westminster. I watched, I cannot say with 
anxiety, but with great interest your first steps as a member of 
Parliament. The estrangement of which I have spoken, I found 
rendered it impossible for me to olTer you any advice, or to 
enable you to profit by the lessons which time had taught me, 
so that I was a passive spectator of what was taking place, I 
soon found that there are things which the most powerful minds 
cannot learn in their closets, shut out from commerce with their 
fellows. The temper of the House of Commons is peculiar, and 
of that I quickly saw you were profoundly ignorant, and you had 
so long accustomed yourself to look with something like contempt 
upon the intellect of the House of Commons, that you were 
unwilling or unable to assume a port and bearing, or to take steps 
that would alone enable you to guide and instruct that very 
remarkable asseuibly. It is, believe me, a very perspicacious 
assembly. It takes the gauge of men instantly, and for the 
most part correctly. It judges, it is true, from its own point 
of view — but from that point of view, its judgment can usually 
be dependi'L upon. . . . 

Mr. ^lill, like Mr. Roebuck, was rejected at the General 
Election a few months after this letter was written, and 
the House of Commons knew him no more. How Mr. 
Roebuck lost his seat remains to be told. 

^ 309 ) 




At the Cutlers' Foast of LSGo, ^Ir. Roebuck again showed 
how changed was his estimate of the French Emperor's 
policy. " We," ho said, " have luid our old enemy, now 
our ally— the French— meeting us in friendly concourse 
and friendly emulation on the waters of Portsmouth. It 
is a fact significant of this, that, while England and Franco 
hold together, tho world nuut be at peace. The Emperor 
of France employs that power which he has, and so well 
exercises, for the benefit of mankind." 

Parliament met in February, LSGO, under an admiuis- 
tration of which Earl Russell, consecpient upon the death 
of Lord Palmcrston in the preceding October, was the head. 
The promise of a Reforui Bill was Uie piece de resistance 
=n the Queen's Speech, but that document contained also 
an ominous reference to the disturbed state of Ireland, 
where the Fenian conspiracy had developed itself. Tho 
discussions on both these subjects were destined to lead 
to a(itiuii J'- the part of Mr. Roebuck which finally broke 
down the allegiance of tho Liberal party in his constituency. 
W.J result was an entire revolution in his relations to tho 
two groat political parties. Ev>vv : ^>p of alienation from 
the Liberals drew him nearer into alliance with tho Con- 
servati\es, and ulr.imately Hung him into their arms. 

This transitioji was, of course, gradual. At first it 
appeared as if Mr. Roebuck would be found supporting the 




Ministerial proposals. Speaking, in spite of illness, at 
Shefiield, in April, he declared the measure, brought in by 
]\[r. Gladstone, to be honest. " I cannot," he said, " under- 
stand the meaning of what is said about dishonesty in this 
Bill." It proposed not merely to enlarge the franchise, but 
to do away with the ratepaying clauses, to get rid of 
which, he had, he said, been fighting for thirty -three years. 
" Fairly and candidly will I deal with this Bill. I will 
steadily support it, and, by the grace of God, we shal' carry 
it." Mr. Roebuck, who was seriously ill, was unable to 
attend the exciting debates which led to the overthrow of 
the Russell Government, by an adverse majority of eleven, 
on Lord Dunkellin's amendment fixing a rating, not a 
rental, qualification. The change of government put off' 
the question of reform until the following year, Mr. P'sraeli 
refusing, indeed, to give any pledge to deal will, xl even 
then, and Lord Derby hinting that much would depend 
on the possibility of arriving at an effectual agreement 
between the two sides. 

To William Fisher {Sheffield). 

June 7, 18G6. — At tliis moment I caimot give any precise or 
(lefiuite information about myself, as I am in the very process of 
learning my exact condition, and of determining what steps I am 
to take. I went yesterday to Sir James Paget, the eminent 
surgeon, and his advice is that the best and safest course will be 
at once to submit to an operation, which he declares to be without 
pain or danger. On receiving his advice I wrote to Gully, asking 
him to come up to see me, and to give me his advice, by which I 
shall be guided. When I have consulted Gully, in order yet 
fnrther to satisfy myself, I shall see Sir William Fergusson, who 
takes a great interest in me, and whose mind runs in the same 
groove as that of Paget. Gully is, of course, a different character. 
. . . When Gully comes I shall make my decision. I am, as you 
may suppose, anxious ; but believe me, I am not afraid. I am 
ready for the worst, and, as far .is I am myself concerned, to die 
will not be terrible, or indeed unwelcome. I have done pretty 



less, ab 
t in by 
in this 
lise, but 
rid of 
e years. 
I will 
,r carry 
lable to 
brow of 
' eleven, 
, not a 
put off 
It even 

jrecise or 
rt'ocess of 
tops I am 

se will be 
le without 
ly, asking 
f which I 
arder yet 
3son, who 

the same 
,m, as you 
id. I am 
Lcd, to die 
)iie pretty 




■'aii-ly and cau-^'-x^ 
. adi.iy support ii, and, b^ 

■ ' Mr. Kr'--bit'-i:. vr^''^ ^• 

throw ot 


1 • 






y/.y// r/^r',, r'/. '/■■ '/'v/v/./' 





much all I 'can hope to do, and though my career has been less 
distinguished than I had hoped, yet I have won for myself a good 
name, and I think my countrymen respect me. There are those 
who will be deeply grieved to lose me. But to part at some time 
is inevitable, and the only touch of selfishness I find in myself is 
that I had rather that the parting came by my taking precedence 
than by following after. These are gloomy thoughts and sad 
forebodings that may not now come to pass, but I write so that 
you may not be taken unawares. My dear wife and daughter are 
not aware of the desponding view I take of my case, and I do not 
wish them to know. If my anticipations prove correct, they will 
soon enough have cause for sorrow. If I be wrong — why, they 
will have escaped the misery that I think threatens. 

To William Fisher. 

July 11, 18GG.— Sir William Fergusson has just left me, 
saying that I am now well. This, no doubt, is true, surgically 
speaking ; but I am yet very weak and very nervous, and totally 
unfit for work. 

To the. same. 

Rector I/, Bushey, near Watford, Herts, July 20, 18(56. — I am 
here at the quiet parsonage of my brother, Mr. Falconer, getting 
strength daily from the fresh air and the calm and the sunshine. 
I am very much stronger than I was a week since, and all goes 
merrily with me as a marriage bell. 

Some quiet and cheerful weeks passed at EndclifFe 
Hall, Sheffield, with Sir John and Lacly Brown, whose un- 
failing kindness did much to bring abouf- complete restora- 
tion to health. In September, Mr. Roebuck's attitude 
towards Reform legislation was far different from that he 
had taken up in the spring. He had, he said, supported the 
defunct Liberal Bill because he could not help supporting 
it. But by separating extension of the suffrage from redis- 
tribution of seats, the battle of the late administration was 
fought on a wrong point. Mr. Gladstone had endeavoured 
first of all to cajole the House of Commons, and, that 
failing, to bully it. To cajole the House would be very 





difficult, to bully it was impossible ; so that Government fell. 
So far as he was concerned, the new administration should 
have a fair trial. The result would, he believed, be that 
the two great parties of the State would be united into one. 

There is really no difference between the two, except some 
small rags of bigotry and intolerance that stick unwillingly to 
them. Let them get rid of these — let the Tories throw overboard 
the talk about the Church rates, the talk about the Uuiveraities — 
and they will do it — and even the Liberal, the moderate Liberal 
party, will join them, and form such a strong Ministerial party in 
England as will enable us to maintain the power of England 
throughout the world ; as will make her feared by her enemies 
and loved by her friends, and be the protecting power of the 
people. I am sure that will take place. I am sure that Lord 
Derby will disappear. I hope that Lord Russell will disappear, 
and that other men will rise up in their places representing the 
united feeling of the people of England ; and that then we shall 
bo enabled to preserve the people of England from the control of 
ignorance and vice with which we are now threatened ; and, in 
spite of all the demagogues in the world, the people of England 
will ride triumphant. 

In the next session (18G7), Mr. Roebuck, reverting to 
his often-proclaimed opinion, that a better Reform Bill 
could be wrested from a weak Conservative Government 
than any it was possible for Liberal ministers to carry, 
gave his support to that Derby-Disraeli scheme which was 
designed to "dish the Whigs." His speech in favour of 
the second reading was barbed with sneers at Mr. Glad- 
stone. When helping the Government to defeat that 
statesman's crucial amendment, dispensing with the 
personal payment of rates by the householder as a con- 
dition of the franchise, he again applied the epithet 
" pettifogging " to Mr. Gladstone's speech. By this time, 
too, Mr. Roebuck had changed his thirty-three years* views 
as to ratepaying. He now declared that he never heard 
any one object to the condition of the ratepaying clauses 




except the Radicals. " Of these," he said, " I was one, but 
I have seen the error of my ways." 

To WUUum Fisher {Sheffield). 

June 7, 18G7. — How completely my policy has succeeded ! 
We have now a more Liberal Bill thau has ever been proposed, 
and that Bill will be carried. I always said the Whigs never could 
or would carry any reform, and this statement which I made in 
1859 has proved true to the letter. 

After the Bill, turned inside out by Liberal effort, and 
presenting as an Act scarcely any possible resemblance to 
its original shape, had established household suffrage, 
Mr. Roebuck, at Sheffield, further explained and justified 
his course by saying — 

I made a resolution with myself that, having got Lord Derby 
into power, we would, if it were possible, screw out of him a real 
reform of Parliament. It always appeared to me that the Whigs 
never could carry a second Reform Bill. I stated so in 1859. I 
was hooted and yelled at in this very town because I so stated. 
. . . Then came Lord Derby again, and then I recollected my 
old determination. " If ever a Reform Bill is carried," I said to 
myself, *' it will be by those men, and so sure as they bring it in, I 
will support them." I was among the first who did so, and I was 
again received with a yell of disapprobation. Oh, how I wa5 
lectured ! . . . Poor man 1 it was thought having lived so long I 
did not know what I was doing. Well, time went on, and I was 
called upon to resign my seat. Certain people here in this town, 
calling themselves Reformers — wretched people to teach me— these 
men called upon me to resign the great trust imposed on me by 
the people of Sheffield. I treated them with the contempt they 
merited. I steadily supported that Bill, and what has been the 
result ? We have got a more Liberal Bill than ever Whig pro- 
posed. We have got a Bill that has frightened, I believe, the 
very persons who proposed it. It has not frightened me. I 
believe we shall find now what the people of England really 
mean. I have great confidence in the right-heartcdness of my 
own countrymen. I have no dread of the future. . . . We have 


\ r 




\ i 

got a great dcul more good out of the Tory administration than out 
of anybody else. This Reform Bill is before us. AVe have now to 
work it. ... I am quite sure there can be no harm to England 
while we have a free press, a free people ; but with that press and 
constant intercommunication of thought, it will render the passing 
of the Reform Bill one of the greatest boons ever conferred upon 
the people of this country. 

Mr. B^obuck, throughout these Reform discussions, had, 
as was said at the time, been true to his usual practice ot 
«o emphasizing by his strong expressions individual bricks, 
as to concentrate attention on them, and divert it from the 
entire edifice. He had exposed himself to much adverse 
comment in his constituency by opposing Mr. Laing's 
proposal to make the six largest cities three-cornered 
constituencies. For, although he subsequently advocated 
the claims of Sheffield to inclusion in the list, there was a 
prevalent impression that this was a case of being zealous 
to lock the stable door after the horse had been stolen. 
Mr. Roebuck explained his course in the following letter : — 

To a Constituent, 

19, Ashley riare, 8JV., Juhj 10, 1868.— The story of the 
three members' constituencies is a simple one, and can soon be 
told. Many attempts to stop and destroy the Reform Bill were 
made under the guise of liberality. The project respecting the 
three members was one of them. It was thought that Mr. Disraeli 
Lad got to the length of his tether, that his party would go no 
further, and that if they at this time could be induced to recal- 
citrate, the Liberals who had hitherto supported the Government 
must vote with the real enemies of the Bill, that the Govern- 
ment would be put into a minority, must go out, and that the 
Bill would then be defeated. Mr. Disraeli said in the debate that 
the Government could not accede to the proposal, and that the 
defeat of the Government on the motion would seriously endanger 
the Bill. We knew what this meant — viz. that his party could 
not be induced to go further in the way of concession. Seeing 
this, we said, *' We will not throw away the good we have attained, 
for the purpose of adding six members to large constituencies, and 




tftkinrf away six from small ones. This benefit, if it should be 
desired, can easily be obtained from the new Tarliament when it 
meets. In the mean time we will insure the Bill." We voted for 
the Government, put them into a majority, and saved the Bill. 
But Mr. Disraeli, upon consulting his party again, found that 
they deemed the trouble of the contest a greater evil than yielding 
the point, and they yielded so far as four members were concerned. 
I complained of this, and strove for Sheffield ; but I was told that 
the party of Mr. Disraeli would go no further than four members, 
und so, according to my own expression, Sheffield was left out in 
the cold. This is the plain history of the case. It is a story that 
could be told of many other similar attempts to defeat the Bill, 
which attempts were defeated by our steady determination to 
carry the Bill, spite of calumny, spite of threats, spite of abuse. 
The Bill is now law, and is law because a number of Liberals 
were more far-sighted, ay, and more disinterested, than those 
who called themselves leaders of the Liberal party. 

There were other subjects on which Mr. Roebuck's 
opinions and action were antagonistic to those of many 
of his Sheffield supporters. 

Early in 1868, in a lecture on Capital and Labour, he 
aflfronted Trades Union feeling by dwelling on the sins 
of Labour without touching on the correlative errors of 
Capital. The meeting heard him patiently, but resented 
what it considered the one-sidedness of the lecture. The 
usual motion of thanks was rejected, because there was 
injudiciously linked with it an implied approval of the 
lecture, and a commendation of Mr. Roebuck's "usual 
dauntless advocacy of the commercial interests of this 
country." Subsequently the Trades Unionists called his 
action "indecent and unfair," as coming from one who 
was sitting on the Royal Commission at that time inves- 
tigating, under the presidency of Sir William Erie, the 
constitution, character, and proceedinf? ^ (f the Trades 
Unions throughout the kingdom, and certain outrages 
which had occurred at Sheffield. The commission had 
delegated three examiners, who were armed with special 



powers conferred by Act of Parliament, to prosecute the 
local inquiry, and this brought homo to agents of the 
unions a series of terrible acts of vengeance and violence. 
The Sheffield examiners reported in August, 1807, but the 
larger commission, of which it was a branch, continued its 
wider inquiries until the following year. Mr. Roebuck 
justified himself in the following letter : — 

To J. Ewjland {Shpffiehl). 

Fehruary 8, 18GH. — ... My great ofFcuco, then, or mistake, 
was that I abruptly termiuiited my locture, or specoh, without 
treating on tlie duties of Capital. 

For a momout eonsidor the circumstances in which I was 
speaking. The audience was one of working men of a town 
in which there had lately been horrid disclosures of mm'dcr 
and cruelty committed by men of the very class which I was 
addressing. These men had lately had au opportunity of bringing 
charges, and, if possible, of substantiating them against the 
possessors of capital. No such charge was preferred, and my 
belief is that none such, if made, could have been substantiated. 
My mind was, by the nature of things, directed to the subject 
occupying all men's minds, viz. the wroug views eutcrt' sd 
respecting the nature of labour and capital. When I had ex] I 

what the errors were, I had really done all, as I conceiveii, i-uat 
I was expected to do, and illustrated the principles I had 
laid down by one striking instance. I stated broadly what I 
thought ought to be the aim of the Legislature in any future 
legislation, and there I left the matter. 

What is the conclusion drawu from this, to you, hasty 
termination ? Why, that my confidence in, and sympathy with, 
the working man has, if not totally disappeared, greatly dimin- 
ished. Let me for a moment consider this conclusion. The 
real meaning of it I take to be this : that Capital and Labour are 
antagonists ; that having discoursed upon the mistakes upon the 
one part, I ought to have set forth the errors of the other. But, 
under the circumstances, was this needed ? I had endeavoured 
to show, and, I think, had shown, that labour and capital were 
equally necessary for production. There was before the world 
of Sheffield no proof of any glaring mistake on the part of the 

RE'yrxTED nv suErnELD. 





capitalist, imd 1 liad coimltincd my views of lubonr and ("!i))it.'il 
so that one exposition cxliiinstod both subjects. My lo<]fislativo 
Hfe had been passed in RnpyK)rtin!,' siu-h le<_MsIation a'* prevents any 
improper inttuenee wliicli capital irives from biiiii,' employed 
to tlie detriment of the lalionrer ; and because T did not descant 
on what mi«,'ht be the sliortcomini^'s of the capitalist, my juist 
life was forr'otten. I was hooted at as an enemv, thontrli the 
whole vitrour of my mind and body bad for six and thirty years 
l)een steadfastly and disinterestedly devotod to ]>rot"Ctini,' and 
watchitiLr over the interests of my fellow-countrymen of every 
class and deforce. 

You compel me to talk of myself. I reluctantly yield to 
the necessity. I ask yon, then, to look sit my career as a politician. 
Is there anythiu",' in it which has been caused or broui,dit about 
by consideration of self? Have I ever liattercl or attempted 
to cajole the people ? When I have thou^'ht them wroni;, have 
I not said so ? When I tiion,i,dit them riirht, have 1 not, 
at f^very risk, boldly support-d and defended them 'i Hut you say 
that "more constant intercourse with the rich and influential niay 
have weaned your sympathies from the Inrdy sons of toil." At 
what time do you state this smiiosition ? Just when I have 
fi^iven the strontjest evidcnoe of my confidence in, and sympathy 
with, those hardy sons of toil. My influence has been streiiuously 
employed in inducin'jj the House of Commons to give those 
"hardy sons of to-l" more power in the Government of the 
country than they ever yet enjoyed. And there are not few 
who will tell you that that influence was not wholly powerless in 
bringins? about the passing of the last Reform IJill. iJut your 
supposition in its foundation is incorrect. My intercourse with 
the rich and influential has not been more constant of late years 
than through my whole life. My syniiiuthy with the working 
man was not the result of associating with them, but arose from 
careful study and industrious investigation. My habits have 
been through life the same ; my fortunes have not changed ; 
experience, I hope, has corrected errors ; age has not chilled 
my sympathies ; and the temptations which failed to iiiHuenee the 
young man will not now make me swerve from what I believe 
the path of duty, now that my career is coming to its end. 

In a conversation on June 27, 18G8, Mr. Walpole, the 

' I. v^yt im'm *i I 




Home Secretary, told Mr. Roebuck tluit if in his life he hatl 
never done anything else but yet at the Sheffield outrages, 
he would have deserved well of his country. Said he — 

"I well remember your coming with the rc(iuestof the masters, 
and then of the men. I took the two petitions for iu(iuiry to 
the Cabinet Council, and on my requesting their leave to grant 
the iu(|uiry, they, with one accord, lifted up their hands and eyes, 
and poiut-blauk refused. I theu said this was a serious mutter 
to refuse inquiry to people so accused. I said some other things, 
and that it was an opportunity uot to be lost, it might never 
happen again, and so on. They then told me they agreed to 
leave the matter in my hands, aud to do as I liked ; and, as 
you know, I appointed the Commission. How does it work, 
as I hear no two agree ? " "I do not lind that," said Roebuck. 
" Harrison * does not like it, but he has wonderfully changed 
since we first began." Mr. Walpole added, " You fought the 
inquiry through the House, and not a soul of them heli)ed you. 
It was ijours^'' 

In 1870, Sir William Erie, who had been Chairman of 
the Commission, said to Mr. Roebuck, " I shall always 
remember the two years passed in the Trades Union Com- 
mission, two of the happiest years of my life." Sir Roundel I 
Palmer joined the group with " Yes, an inquiry most nobly 
conducted, and most nobly ended ; but it had one bad 
result, it terminated your Parliamentary career, and 
deprived the country of the services of a great statesman." 

But what finally split up the Liberals of Sheffield, and 
completed the alienation of the majority of them from Mr. 
Roebuck, was the attitude he assumed towards the dis- 
establishment of the Irish Church. In former years, Mr. 
Roebuck had dwelt with vehemence on the wrongs done 
to the Irish by what he called " the greatest enormity in 
Europe" — an alien Church. Mr. Gladstone, in 1868, 
addressed himself to the removal of this evil, coupling 
with it that equally great question of the Irish tenantry, 

* Mr. Frederic Harrison. 





which Sir Robert Peel, in the height of his power, had 
approached, but left untouched. To the general astonish- 
ment, Mr. Roebuck took up the old Tory plea for the Irish 
establishment, that it maintained an educated gentleman 
in every parish, who, with his family, spent more money 
than he received, and conferred the greatest benotit upon 
the locality. In Air. Roebuck's o})inion, that man was 
no statesman who would disestablish the Church. His 
favourite theme at this time was an insistence that tiie 
Irish had no grievance of which to complain, all their 
troubles being self-made. It was in Ai)ril that Mr. Glad- 
stone moved his resolutions, declaring that the Irish Church 
must cease to exist as an establishment, and providing 
that, pending the action of Parliament, no new life interest 
should be created. 

To Mrs. Roobuck. 

April 4, ISOS. — Last night rdadstone referred twice to me 
in his reply on the groat debate ou the Irish Church. The Tiinrs 
imperfectly reports both references. The first was u short 
allusion. Gladstone was explaining a change in his own opinion 
respecting the presence of bishops in the House. He said, as 
near as I can recollect, " I thought tlieu, air, that it would be 
wise to rctiiin more Irish bishops in the House of I^ords, and 
this, in spite of the sneer of my honourable and learned friend, 
the member for Sheffield, respecting churchmen and legislators — 
not that I mean to blame that sneer. No — it was perfectly 
true ! " 

The second was more marked, and the omission uf the Til)lt^.^' 
more significant. The words of Gladstone were to this effect — 
*' And here I must answer a question put to me by my honourable 
friend, the member for SlielHeld. He asked me in a marked and 
solemn manner, a pertinent and solemn (piestion — one which he 
was perfectly justified in asking, and one which 1 am prepared to 
answer. It was whether I was prepared to pui-sue to the end 
the object of these resolutions. He said that the exjieetations 
of the jxiople of Irt'land had been often raised to be often dis- 
appointed. I admit this." 




Gladstone then proceeded as is reported in the Times, and 
in a manner which indnces me to think that haforrsees many diffi- 
culties in giving effect to his resolutions, and that he was even then 
preparing for what might be another case of Irish disappointment. 

A town's meeting in Sheffield sent up petitions in favour 
of Mr. Gladstone's policy, and in reply to a letter forwarding 
these, Mr. Roebuck wrote — 

To Robert Leader (Sheffield). 

April 2, 1868. — I will present the petition of the public meeting 
to-night. IMr. Gladstone's resolutions I shall support, and, I suspect, 
upon a more thorough-going principle than will be adopted by 
most of those who will vote for them. About the mover, I see 
that you and I differ. He holds so comma ag a position, and 
is so eminently gifted, that his errors, if he commit errors, are far 
more mischievous than those of ordinary men, and I believe it to 
be my duty to speak plainly my opinion upon so important a 
subject. My country has a right to demand from me my real 
views, and I should be unworthy of the post I hold if I shrunk 
from this my duty, even from fear of offending many who cer- 
tainly have not my experience, though they may be far more 
endowed with abil'iy than myself. I write this because your 
hint, though short, was significant and somewhat imperative. 

Mr. Roebuck did, accordingly, vote for the resolutions, 
but in his speech he hurled bitter taunts at the minister, 
and imputed that he was actuated by a desire for personal 

This speech, his colleague, Mr. Hadfield, reported, " was 
silently received." It was the last straw which broke the 
back of the long-suffering Sheffield Liberal camel. The 
local newspaper which hitherto had held staunchly to Mr. 
Roebuck, making the best of the many strains he put upon 
its loyalty, at length declared that the time had arrived 
when the honourable member's supporters owed it to them- 
selves and the country to come to some definite under- 
standing as to the relations they were in future to bear to 
him and to the Liberal party at large. And Mr. Hadfield 



ics, and 
mj iliffi- 
ren then 

1 favour 

[ suspect, 
)pted by 
er, I see 
bion, and 
3, are far 
Levc it to 
)ortant a 
i my real 
I shrunk 
who cer- 
far more 
use your 


d, " was 

roke the 

Y to Mr. 

)ut upon 

bear to 


recommended that the Liberal committee should moot and 
consider the position of the friends of progress and reform in 
Sheffield. " The constituents," he said, " must consider the 
duty they owe to themselves and to the country, regardless 
of the present members, except so far as they represent the 
best interests of the nation." 

The details of what followed are of local, rather than of 
general interest. Towards the end of June a meeting of 
the committee of Messrs. Roebuck and Hadfield was held. 
This Mr. Roebuck unexpectedly attended to " have it out " 
with his friends. And there ensued an exceedingly frank 
and outspoken exchange of opinions, both sides sticking 
manfully to their guns. Mr. Roebuck treated the indict- 
ment against him as including these main counts: his 
action on reform, his attacks on Mr. Gladstone, his attitude 
towards trades unions — especially as shown by his treat- 
ment of witnesses before the Royal Commission — and his 
antagonism to restrictions on the sale of liquors. On the 
last he had yet once again, in this session, poured his con- 
temptuous scorn. In the committee neither side convinced 
the other, and from that moment, all chance of harmony 
being at an end, the sword was drawn from the scabbard, 
and some of Mr. Roebuck's most influential friends, finding 
what they deemed loyalty to the interests of Liberalism 
incompatible with his retention of the seat, explained 
publicly why they could no longer support him, and why 
they threw the whole weight of their influence into the 
cause of Mr. Mundella, who had been brought forward as 
a candidate. If, said the newspaper which expressed their 
views, the electors were not prepared to let Mr. Roebuck 
ride them with whip and spur into the Tory camp, and 
make them fall into line behind Mr. Disraeli, they must 
unhorse him. 

At the succeeding Cutlers' Feast, in September, Mr. 
Roebuck gave fresh offence by references to the United 
States, made in the presence of Mr. Reverdy Johnson, then 


' t 




minister representing the Republic in England. There 
had, he said, been poured into America a tide of corruption, 
" a feculent torrent " of almost all the vice and turbulence 
of Europe. " We see," he continued, "the wild Irishman, the 
liery Frenchman, the assassinating Italian, and the dumb- 
founded Spaniard, all going out in one mass, and wishing 
to fulfil their expectations in the mind of America." The 
Times having "most unreservedly condemned the out- 
rageous indecency of this language, as unfounded in fact 
as it was offensive under the circumstances in which it 
was uttered," Mr. Roebucic protested against this "mis- 
conception of the purpose and effect of the speech." 

To the Editor of the Times. 

You seem to assume that I intended to disparage the United 
States, and that I did insult her minister by the remarks I made. 
Now, to notice first the matter last mentioned. I have the best 
authority for saying that Mr. Johnson did not so eouccive my 
observations. He knew full well that I had been active in pre- 
paring for him a warm welcome to Sheffield ; that I had put upon 
record in words as strong as our language afforded the pleasure 
that we felt upon the occasion of his visit ; and that, in one of 
the addresses that were to be presented to him, I had most 
earnestly spoken of the blessing that peace and goodwill between 
the two nations would confer on mankind. In fact, he has given 
me every assurance that he felt greatly pleased by all that had 
happened since his arrival here, and to myself personally he used 
expressions of kindness and friendship which touched me very 
nearly, which I sliall ever remember, but which I need not repeat. 
So much fo" th-; insult which you suppose I intended to fling, and 
which you say I did fling, at the American Minister. 

But that you should have fallen into this error is not sur- 
prising when one considers the strange construction you put upon 
tiie words and arguments I used. You seem to imagine that I 
deliberately spoke ill of the United States, and that I said things 
of her institutions that must necessarily have been offensive to the 
gentleman who represented her. Now, what was my purpose, my 
reasoning, and what were the words I used ? I was speaking of the 



man, the 
ic dumb- 
a." The 
the out- 
l in fact 
which it 
lis "mis- 

,he United 

:s I made. 

;e the best 

uceive my 

ive in pre- 

\ put upon 

i pleasure 

in one of 

had most 

II between 

has given 

that had 

ly he used 

me very 

ofc repeat. 

fling, and 

not snr- 

put upon 

ne that I 


ive to the 


frpose, my 
dng of the 


great change that had hccn lately made in onr repi'csontatlou, and 
my purpose was to relieve the minds of my hearers of any alarms 
they might entertain in consetjuence of that change. To aid 
this my purpose I brought in America as an ilhistratiou. I said 
that there were two nations, and two only, who had really con- 
fided the government of their respective countries to the great 
body of their people. America had done so under conditions less 
favourable for success than England ; and the argument was that, 
seeing how successful America has been, we need have no fear of 
England. I explained the differing conditions under which the 
two nations acted. America had one favourable condition that 
we had not — viz. unoccupied land to an almost fabulous extent ; 
but I said that there was an element in her politics highly mis- 
chievous, and from which we were free — this was an emigration 
from Europe of peraonsof the worst and most dangerous character. 
Is not this assertion true, and is it not daily made in the United 
States in speeches in Congress, in the daily papers, and in every 
sort of publication ? — made in words far stronger than mine ; 
made, too, by the most thoughtful and patriotic Americans ? 
That the course of American policy has been disturbed l)y this 
mischievous emigration no one who knows America will, I think, 
deny ; that T may have overrated its mischievous influence may be 
true. I do not think so, and I know that my opinion is shared 
by many eminent Americans. In describing a had thing you do 
not use words of eulogy ; the epithets I chose may not have been 
happy, but as regards the thing described they are true. While 
speaking of this torrent of bad emigration, I did not include or 
allude to that vast body of virtuous and worthy persons who go Ic 
America in order to find a new and more favourable field for their 
industry and talent than their own country affords. That in- 
estimable benefit has been conferred on the United States by such 
an emigration I well know. The same class of men have created 
our flourishing colonies over the world, and I hope I am not so 
foolish or so prejudiced as to confound things so essentially 
dissimilar as the two classes of emigrants that I speak of. That 
the bad element exists I am sure, that it has affected in an evil 
manner the politics of America I believe, in common with many 
of her most distinguished sons. To mention this fact, even before 
an American Minister, I cannot consider an offence against good 
taste and good manners ; that no offence was taken I know. 




I mentioned also one other thinj;, which is also notorious in 
America, and against which I warned my fellow countrymen — that 
was the almost universal withdrawal of rich and educated 
Americans from the business of politics, and the consequent 
advantage taken of their absence by mere political adventurers. 
Is this not also true ? And where was the harm of mentioning a 
fact which is notorious, when the mentioning of it might be a 
beneficial warning to my own countrymen, and perhaps might also 
be useful in its influence upon the minds of Americans ? 

I will only add a passing remark upon the hard words you use 
when speaking of myself. I rather fancy that my experience in 
political life is greatoi- than that of the gentleman who wrote the 
article of which I am now speaking, and I should have hoped that 
it might have suggested itself to him while inditing his diatribe, 
that the veteran politician might be right and he himself in the 


In the turmoil of the election which followed, Mr. 
Roebuck maintained his sturdy independence, and showed 
that time had not withered his old powers of spirited 
attack, or lessened the joys which fierce combat brought. 
In his election address he expressed the hope that as he 
had grown older he had grown wiser, that age had made 
him more tolerant, more patient, more ready to believe 
that men opposed to him and his views were deserving of 
respect and toleration; but his toleration seemed to be 
extended rather to the traditional opponents of "those 
great doctrines of intellectual and moral and civil freedom, 
of which he had ever been an ardent and faithful 
supporter," than to those who had worked, and were 
prepared to continue to work, in the same cause. 

Two extracts from speeches he delivered during the 
election are given here : — 

I am a man of peace, but I have been taught, and unhappily 
it is true teaching, that to preserve the peace you should be able 
to protect yourselves. In the wide world of ambition, and the 
search after glory, we may have things threatened and done if 
we are not able to hold up our hands and to defend ourselves. 




torious in 
nen — that 
ationing a 
ight be a 
night also 

is you use 
crience in 
wrote the 
loped that 
3 diatribe, 
ieif in the 

wed, Mr. 
I showed 

at as he 
ad made 
) believe 
jrving of 
ed to be 
f "those 

nd w^ere 

ring the 

Id be able 
, and the 
i done if 

Therefore I say that Hnj,'land must bo defended ; she must be 
protected from insult ; she must be protected from injury. Her 
sons are over the .^lol»e. They t,'o to Asia, to Africa, to America, 
and all over Enrojie. They are upon every sea ; every tishery is 
vexed by them, as Hurke said ; so she ought to be able to protect 
her sons as well abroad as at home. But all this costs money ; 
and therefore it is a very poor economy to say you won't protect 
your children abroad. That is ray view with rei^ard to peace and 
war. No aggressive wars for me, neither in Europe nor in India. 
I am against all aggression ; but defensive war is justifiable, and 
Englaiid ought to be prepared to defend herself. 

Again — 

My object has been through life to make the working-man 
as exalted and civilized a creature as I could make him. I wanted 
to place before his mind a picture of civilized life such as I see 
it in my own life, and I ask him, as my friend and my brother, 
to meet me in that career. ]My life has been passed with a partner 
whom I am delighted to think of. She is gentle, kind, civilized. 
I wanted him to have a partner of the same description. My 
household has been a civilized household. It has been a house- 
hold in which thought, high and elevated ideas of literature, and 
grace and beauty, have always found everytliiug that could recom- 
mend them ; and when I came home from my intellectual con- 
flicts in the world, I found there a resort, and the pillow on 
which I could lay my head. There was everything there that 
could recommend man to his Creator. I wanted to make the 
working-man like me. His house might be made the abode of 
culture, the abode of everything that is civilized and humanizing. 
I wanted no drink, no dog, no wretched and degrading things 
to interrupt life and happiness. I wanted him to be like me, a 
civilized human being, cultivating my mind, thinking oidy of 
whatever would elevate me and make lue that which I ought to 
be, a representative of my race. 

The result of the election canio upon Mr. Roebuck as 
a painful surprise. It was: Hadfield, 14,707; Mundella, 
12,212 ; Roebuck, 9571 ; Price, 5272. 

The current and sedulously encouraged opinion outside 
Sheffield was that Mr. Roebuck had fallen a victim to the 





anger of that worst section of Trades Union opinion, which 
was in sympathy with the crimes of violence associated 
with the name of Broadhead. This, however, was a super- 
ficial theory, untenable by those really acquainted with all 
the facts of the case and the ramifications of public feeling. 
But it largely increased the widespread regret with which 
Mr. Roebuck's exclusion from Parliament was everywhere 
received — a regret which was not altogether unshared even 
by those who, compelled to sunder long ties of friendship, 
and to sacrifice personal feeling and admiration on the 
altar of loyalty to principle, and in obedience to a stem 
sense of duty, had brought it about. And in this respect 
they had, at any rate, the sanction of Mr. Roebuck's own 
teaching, for, in reference to objections to his plain speak- 
ing and unsparing attitude, he was accustomed to say, 
" I don't care who the truth injures : I cannot help it. It 
is like the surgeon's knife, cutting through a sore and bad 
place. He cuts it off, gives pain, but does good." Mr. 
Roebuck's farewell address to his late constituents was 
dignified and temperate. After thanks to his supporters 
and to his executive committee, he said — 

We must all accept the decision of the electors as the faithful 
expression of the present opinions of the majority of the electors. 
It cannot be expected that we should acquiesce in the wisdom or 
the justice of this decision. Whether time is to reverse this 
decree time must show ; for me it is a final one. I am too old 
to wait for the decisions of time, though I am confident that, when 
calm reflection takes the place of excitement and prejudice, it will 
be acknowledged that I have been always a faithful servant, and 
that my services deserved a different return. I make no com- 
plaint ; I make no accusations. The future must decide between 
me and the newly-made constituency of Sheffield. 

( IV ) 

ion, which 
s a super- 
d with all 
lie feelincf. 
ith which 
ared even 
>n on the 

a stem 
lis respect 
ick's own 
i/in speak- 

1 to say, 
)lp it. It 
3 and bad 
od." Mr. 
lents was 

he faithful 
e electors, 
wisdom or 
verse this 
in too old 
lihat, when 
ice, it will 
rvant, and 
5 no com- 
ic between 



As when, in 1847, Mr. Roebuck was rejected by Bath he 
turned his freedom from Parliamontsry duties to the 
compilation of his " History of the V/hig Ministry," so now 
he seems quickly to have reverted to literary projects. 
There is in existence a memorandum in which he wrote — 

My intention is, if possible, to write a faithful history of the 
House of Commons, which was constituted by the Reform Act of 
1832. The first House of Commons, chosen under the provisions 
of this Act, met in the spring of the year 1S33. The last House 
elected under the same authority was dissolved in the autumn of 
18C8. The existence of this great legislative assembly was con- 
fined within tliose two periods ; and I desire to lay before my 
countrymen a record of the deeds done by it in that space of time. 
H I be not greatly mistaken, this record will exhibit a picture 
unparalleled in the legislative history of mankind— a picture of 
wise reforms wisely executed ; of a great revolution, gradually, 
peacefully, and effectively accomplished ; of the greatest solici- 
tude shown for all existing interests ; of a resolute determination 
to exterminate abuse, to improve all the institutions of the 
State ; of calmness and justice presiding on the occasion of 
every change effected; of courage attended by wisdom, by 
truth, and by honour. In short, there will be pourtrayed a 
picture of a legislature proving itself worthy of ruling the des- 
tinies of one of the greatest people that ever played a part in 
the history of mankind. 

This design, unfortunately, was never carried out. 


H 1 



To an unnamed Correspondent. 

19, AhIiUij Place, S.W., Febnmry 15, 1809.— There is one 
subject to which I will call your attention, in order to sugj^est it 
to you as u matter for consideration. The subject is the Pulpit. 
What is its power at present as a means of instruction ? When 
the Christian pulpit was first used as a means of power and 
influence, it stood out as possessed of peculiar, nay, sini^ular, 
udvantaf^os. An educated man, havinc^ the power of addressing 
frequently the same body of persons with great and over- 
whelming author, ty, aided by all the terrors which religion 
wields and superetit >\\ intensifies, would necessarily exercise a 
tyrannical influence. But this condition of things has been 
greatly changed by printing, and the spread of information which 
printing has brought about. The newspaper comes every day, is 
at hau'^. at all hours, touches upon every subject that interests 
humanity, suits itself to every tnste, and supersedes, as a moral 
teacher and general instructor, every other class of teacher. The 
pulpit now, and he who fills it, take a very secondary place as 
respects importance in the ranks of the guides and instructors of 
mankind. Then comes the question. Is the parson of no use to 
the community ? is he to be considered as a useless official, an 
idle appendage to an old and worn-out system ? My answer is, 
By no means. I consider the mere fact of an educated, and, for 
the most part, virtuous, man being placed in every parish in 
England, a most happy circumstance as regards her welfare and 
good living. But the means by which that man is to lead and 
guide his people are changed from what they were in times past. 
It is not now by the sway of mere intellect that he is to 
govern. His power over what people are to believe has almost 
entirely gone. His chief means of teaching is example. His duty 
is to be a pattern to his flock. He should teach men what to do, 
and leave to other instructors the teaching of what they are to 
believe. This will, I have no doubt, appear to you a wild 
phantasy of mine, but I believe, if you will calmly and patiently 
consider the whole matter, you will feel that there is a good deal 
of truth in my statements. 

In March, 1869, Mr. Roebuck met at Sheffield his old 
antagonist at the Bath election of 1847 — the Earl of 



ere 18 one 

8ugf,'est it 

he Pulpit. 

I? When 

power and 

, siujjjular, 


and over- 

li religion 

exercise a 

has been 

iion which 

cry day, is 

b interests 

5 a moral 

ber. The 

T place as 

motors of 

no use to 

fficial, an 

mswer is, 

, and, for 

parish in 

[fare and 

lead and 

|mcs past. 

e is to 

s almost 

|His duty 

at to do, 

sy are to 

a wild 

od deal 

Ihis old 
arl of 

Shaftesbury. His lordship, who had gone down to lay the 
foundation-stone of some alms-houses, privately expressed 
regret that he had been the means of ejecting Mr. Roebuck 
from his first constituency. Mr. Roebuck somewhat pre- 
maturely spoke of his own presence on this occasion as the 
closing act of his political life. 

On March 15, 1869, he was presented by his friends 
and admirers with £3000, invested in Consols in the name 
of his daughter. In the speech in which he acknow- 
ledged the gift some touches of real pathos were mingled 
with characteristic references to the consistency of liis 

I fed myself now as if, in .uoing along tlio journey of life — and 
I apprehend it is pretty near to its end — I have arrived at the 
liill-top from which, turning round, I may look backward. To 
every man this sort of prospect is a bitter thing — hopes dis- 
appointed, wishes unfulfilled, motives misinterpreted, calumny 
used. All these things one looks back upon and sees in the 
career which we have passed through. But still, in every desert 
they say there is an oasis, and I, looking back, see one bright 
spot in my career, and that is my connection with Sheffield. 

Speaking of his life, he said — 

I set out in political life attached to no political party in the 
State — allied to neither. I saw before me a straight line of con- 
duet to pursue. I saw contending powei's — on one side the great 
body of the Tory party ; on the other the groat body of the Whig 
party. I truckled to neither, and I incurred the hate of both. 
. . . My life, I say, has been dedicated to my country. I have 
gained nothing for myself, but I hope I have won a name. But 
what is in a name ? In a few short years I sliall disappear, and 
the chances are my name will be forgotten. In this rush and 
hurry of the world, in the great mass of people who come before 
the world's eyes, there are ten thousand chances to one that I sliall 
be forgotten. But until I do die I shall have the cheering spirit 
withhi me that throughout my life I have done my duty ; and, 
doing my duty, I have won the applause, and I believe the 
support, of the best thinking of my countrymen. 




Ho predicted that those who had ejected him from 
Sheffield would find they had made a mistake. The time 
would come when they would say, " The old man was not 
80 bad a fellow as we thought him." 

At a banquet the same evening IVFr. Roebuck delivered 
what he called his " political testament." It was com- 
prehended in these three points : " Beware of trades 
unions; bewaro of Ireland; beware of America." The 
warnings addressed to the capitalists in this speech, to 
the effect that if they yielded to the demands of labour 
they were ruined for ever, exposed Mr. Roebuck to renewed 
criticism and animadversion by the representatives of the 


To Wi/linm Fisher (Shrjj^phl). 

May 2'), ISO'.). — I always fancied that you considered my 
interests as a U'f,'aey left you by your father, and in all my corre- 
spondence witli you, whether personal or written, I have ever felt 
as if he were present, watchinf^ over and, as it were, sanctifyinj^ 
our friendship. I dare say you will think this somewhat straui^o 
language to be held by so matter-of-fact a person as myself. But 
1 have, as I find at times, a stratum of sentiment in the hard 
composition of my spirit, and the untiring kindness of yourself 
and Mrs. Fisher has softened what the world calls my stony heart. 

In the August of the same year (1869), Mr. Roebuck 
attended a banquet given to the Duke of Norfolk on the 
occasion of his coming of age. He spoke very appre- 
ciatively of honours, power, and wealth, and the aristocracy, 
though, curiously enough, describing himself as well known 
to be "a thorough-going Radical." At the succeeding 
Cutlers' Feast, in giving the toast of the Army and Navy, 
Mr. Roebuck complained that statesmen were met with 
" a pitiful talk about economy," though we had " . ouii L 
us jealous nations of every sort, from the desr- uc free 

republic." In these years he frequently deli^ . addresses 
on Education — at Dewsbury, Nottingham, ii. Itham (near 



it with 


■ free 


Huddersfield), and clsowhcro. In tlicso he was accustomed 
to claim that he had not swerved from the plan of edu- 
cation submitted by him to the Mouse of Commons in 
1833, and seein'' in Mr. Forster's Bill a substantial realiza- 
tion of the principles he had lonj^ preached, that measure 
met with his cordial approval. From time to time o])por- 
tunities were fjjiven to Mr. Roebuck to keep in touch with 
his old constituency, many of his sui)porters cleaviiiij 
tenaciously to the hope that ho would yet regain his seat. 
Some approaches had been nuide to Mr. Ucjubuck by a 
section of the electors of Marylebone. The exchange of 
views led to the publication of the followiiiL;; letter: — 

To the Kilihr of tlip Tioifs. 

19, Aslihij PJarr, Mai/ 27, 1S(!!). — In your piijior of to-day you 
have u stateniont that I rocoivcd a deputation from persons 
rosidins,' in tiic l)orou<,di of Marylebone, and that I made to them 
certain statements. Amoni; other statements it is said that I 
declared to thciu that I was opposed to ]\Ir. (Iladstone's Irish 
Church Hill, because I believed it to be a robl)ery and a spoliation. 
x\.s I never said anythinj; like this, I wish now to say wliut I did 
say, and the circninstances in which I spoke. Certain li-cntlemen 
wrote to me askinij; if I would receive a dciaitation of persons 
connected with the borouirli of Marylehoiie on the subject of the 
probable vacancy in that borouirh. I wrote to them, sayini,' that 
I should be happy to receive them, but 1 asked them to decide 
whether our meetinf]^ should be considered puMic or private. 
I>ccause, I said, if it is to l>e public, tliouirh the principles which 
1 shall enunciate will be the same as those I should put forth in 
a private meeting, yet the words I shall use may ])e different. A 
l>rudent reserve in the one case may not be my guide in the other. 
[ was told l)y letter that the meeting was to be strictly jirivate, 
and that the dei)utation would consider tliemselves bound in 
honour to deem everything that passed strictly private. When 
the deputation came they ask(.'d me in "general terms what were 
my views as to Mv. Gladstone's Irish Church Bill. ]\Iy answer 
was that in my view Mr. Gladstone's I Jill was impolitic and dis- 
honest ; but I wished them to understand that in my view an 



, i 1 * " - ■ 

Establislied Church was a bad iustrnmeut for the propagjation of 
roli<,'ion ; that tlioreforc I was on that j^rouiid opposed to the 
Ji'isli Church. Still, I could not but acknowledge that the Irish 
Church had done much ;^ood, and though upon the whole I did 
not consider it an institution that I should have established, yet, 
being established, I was bound to acknowledge, i".s an Englishman, 
it had rendered great benefits to the State ; iliat under these 
circumstances I was asked to disestablish it. My answer was that 
I believed the proposal to disestablish it was (1) impolitic, and 
next, (2) dishonest. It was impolitic l)ecause it would not satisfy 
tiiiit class of the Irish people it sought to conciliate, and that it 
wiis pat forth under false pretences. I endeavoured to prove 
l)oth these proi)ositions, but I said nothing as to the robbery or 
S[)oliation, holding as I do that the property of the Irish Church 
is the projierty of the people, and that they may do with it as 
they please. My belief that Mr. Gladstone's Bill is impolitic and 
dishonest is wholly different from the statement that it is a 
spoliation and a robbery. A spoliation and a robbery I do not 
beheve it to be, but that it is impolitic and dishonest every hour 
proves ; and the future will show that I am right in denouncing 
the minister who thus recklessly proposes so dangerous a measure. 

After the work of the Royal Commission on Trades 
Unions terminated, towards the end of 1869, Mr. Roebuck 
was appointed on another, an inquiry into the Labour 
Laws, of which the head was the Chief Justice, Sir 
Alexander Cockburn. 

The never-failing love of reading stood him in good 
stead. He brightened up his Latin, and apparently with 
some relief he would put aside the turmoil of present day 
politics and turn to the comparative calm of the old Roman 
writers, scarcely one of whom he passed over ; I ut Cicero, 
Valerius Paterculus, Horace, and Virgil were his chief 
favourites. Of Virgil, indeed, he never wearied. One day 
it was said to him, " You never seem to tire of Virgil ? " 
"Ah," he replied, with a little twist of his shoulders, 
" there is a devil in him " — alluding to the ancient notion 
that an especial demon inspired a poet. 

pagation of 
ised to the 
it the Irish 
i^hole I did 
ilished, yet, 
nder these 
n- was that 
)olitic, and 
not satisfy 
nd that it 
to prove 
robbery or 
ih Church 
(vith it as 
)olitic and 
it it is a 
I do not 
very hour 
■ measure. 

1 Trades 



tice. Sir 

in good 
tly with 
sent day 

' Cicero, 
is chief 
)no day 
^irgil ? " 



In the early part of 1870 it was found that cataract in 
both eyes had formed; and when one eye had become 
quite darkened the cataract was removed with perfect 
success. From his always abstemious ways, but little 
change of habit was necessary, beyond remaining in a 
darkened room, and not using the eyes at all. 

At this moment the Franco-Prussian war liroke out, 
and he followed the course of events with the keenest 
anxiety. Every morning came the question, "Arc the 
French moving on ? have they crossed the frontier ? " Then 
as days went on, it was, " Ah, if the French lose their first 
elan, if they do not continue to move rapidly onwards, 
they will be beaten." 

At last, one Sunday in August, the newsboys were 
heard shouting the Ohsen'er in the street. The newspaper 
was brought in, and was found to contain the news of the 
battle of Wiirth, the first serious reverse of the French 

Some days later, among other incidents of the time 
that were told to Mr. Roebuck, was an ex[)loit by Achillo 
Murat, who was then on the staff of the French Emperor. 
Finding that the French were defeated, he asked leave, 
and went at once to Paris, to his wife, a Montenegrin 
princess, whom he instantly brought away to England, 
with her three-weeks'-old baby and her mother. A 
man asleep at a London hotel was awakened early one 
morning, to find standing by his bedside a French ofiicer, 
whose uniform was torn to shreds by bullets. This was 
Achille Murat, who had just arrived in London with 
his family. His English friend, on hearing the state 
of aflfairs, told him to take his family to his country 
house, giving him the key of the cellar, with the 
injunction to make the ladies feel at homo for as lon<T 
as was necessary. Murat did so, and then returned to 
the Emperor, whom he never left unti' the captivity at 







Mr. Roebuck's recovery of sight was steady, and though 
he could again see, his family would not, for nearly three 
months, let him read or write. He followed the daily 
history of the war with the greatest interest, until at last 
the accounts became so terrible that he could no longer 
bear to hear them read. At this time he was at Usk, in 
Monmouthshire, and passed much time in the open air. 
One beautiful afternoon in early September he was sitting 
with his wife and daughter under a mulberry tree on the 
grass facing the river Usk, when his brother-in-law, 
Thomas Falconer, came hastily into the garden with a 
telegram in his hand, saying, " There has been a battle at 
Sedan ; the French army has surrendered, and the Emperor 
is a prisoner." 

The contrast between, this terrible tale and the peaceful 
and secure surroundings in which it was told, made a deep 
impression on those present not lightly to be forgotten. 

In the following November there was a very remark- 
able display of the Aurora Borealis. The awestruck 
Monmouthshire villagers declared that the war was shown 
in the sky. 

To an elector of Sheffield Mr. Roebuck, some months 
later, made the fishing remark, "I fear that my good 
word has not much power nowadays in Sheffield." In 
answer to this his correspondent had assured him " that in 
almost every public room in Sheffield expressions of regret 
have been made that we have not a John Arthur Roebuck 
in Parliament, but the mere links of a chain the Premier 
can rattle at his will." This elicited the following letter : — 

To (I Skeffiehl Electa)'. 

Jawunr}! 3, 1S71. — I hiivo seen in my time so many instances 
of short memories on the part of the people, that I felt that two 
ycara' absence was quite enough to wi})e me out of men's recol- 
lections. I can easily fancy, however, that the want of a plain, 
bold speaker, with some political knowledj^je, may be felt at the 
present hour, when England's interests are trembling in the 

d though 
,rly three 
ihe daily 
il at last 
10 longer 
b Usk, in 
jpen air. 
IS sitting 
e on the 
L with a 
battle at 

i peaceful 
le a deep 
' remark- 
as shown 

J months 
ny good 
Id." In 
" that in 
I Premier 
letter : — 


[that two 

|u's recol- 

a plain, 

It at the 





balance. I sit and chafe, knowinj^ that I can do nothing, and 
seeing that weakness and imbecile vanity rule and guide our 
councils in this important crisis. The next year will place in 
jeopardy the honour, the power — aye, the very existence — of our 
country, and all we can do is to sit by with folded hands, and 
accept quietly what fate shall bring. But this language is useless. 
We must submit. As for myself, I am very well, and mentally 
i believe myself to be as vigorous as ever. My blindness, 
thanks to modern art, has been greatly relieved, and I can read 
and write as usual. I am writing to you by the aid of what I 
call my naw eye, and the result lies before you — no very bad 
specimen of renovated sight. Years are stealing on ; I know 
not what I may be capable of when the time for action conies. 
But if then I shall be as I am now, I shall be willing, if called 
on, to fight my old fight in favour of truth and freedom, and to 
do battle against noisy humbug and vulgar hypocrisy. 

To William Fis/irr {SkoflMd). 

February 21, 1871. — Is there any chance for me, if I stand 
again for Sheffield ? Now, I want you to answer me this question 
frankly. Do Uuo fear that I shall shut my oars to the voice of 
a true friend like you. If you say that there is no fair chance, 
and that my coming forward would be a tax upon my friends, 
which they would consider a disagreeable burthen, I should at 
once abstain from putting myself forward, and consider myself 
as pohtically dead — a circumstance which would give nie no great 
pain, certainly none equal to what I should feel if I believed that 
my friends looked upon my candidature as an unnecessary trouble, 
a thing not desirable, and upon me as a jxistileut bore. 

The answer to this inquiry may be judged from the 
fact that in March, 1871, Mr. Roebuck lectured in Sheffield 
on the events which had occurred since the General Election. 
The Irish Church Act and the Irish Land Act were both 
" unwise, unstatesmanlike, and fraught with danger." 
Nor were there wanting in his address scornful references 
to " those gentle cousins of ours " across the Atlantic. As 
to the Franco-German War, Lord Granville ought to have 
told both despots that before God and man their conduct 



deserved the reprobation of mankind. Another speech, 
on current political topics, appointed for December 14, 
1871, had been deferred because, just when it should have 
been delivered, the Prince of Wales was hovering between 
life and death, and in the painful national anxiety public 
attention was riveted on the bulletins from his sick-bed. 

To an unnamed Correftpondenf. 

December 2, 1871. — I am alarmed, too, by the lan^uajre of 
the bulletins, which is always in royal cases studiously guarded, 
but I fancy one can generally read through the lines, and find a 
meaning at the back. Following that plan now, I can, I believe, 
see that the prince has been far worse than the world is told. 
Besides the royal family, the person who suffers the greatest 
distress must be Lord Londesborough, whose house was the scene 
of the disaster, and whose care, by flushing the drains, called the 
poison into action. The same thing has so often happened, that 
I am astonished that a thing so well known to be dangerous 
should have been done. l\Iay it please God to avert any further 
calamity. The (lueen, poor lady, is in no fit state to bear uj) 
against any great grief. But gloomy anticipations are unwise. 

7'o the same. 

December 0, 187 1. — If the Prince of Wales should die before 
the 14th, or if he continues in the same precarious state, it 
will be impossible for me, as a gentleman, to deliver my speech on 
the 14th. I know this will be the cause of annoyance, but I 
cannot help it. At this time to show disrespect to the queen and 
the Princess of Wales would not suit my feelings, and would 
certainly be thoroughly impolitic — would, in fact, be the height 
of folly. The state of the public mind here in London is such 
as has not been seen since the day of the death of Princess 
Charlotte ; and I see throughout the country n»eetings of all 
kinds are being postponed. Under these circumstances, i i>eg of 
you to coincide with me in thinking that our meeting should be 
indefinitely postponed. A favourable and quiet time will coiae 
when what I shall utter, if there be anything of worth in it, will 
receive due attention, and my warnings, if worthy, will have their 
due weight. 

ler speech, 
comber 14, 
hould have 
ig between 
iety public 

Ifinwuajnrc of 
sly guarded, 
1, and find a 
n, I believe, 
irld is told, 
the greatest 
[IS the scene 
?, called the 
)pened, that 
-' dangerous 
any further 
to l)oar up 

die before 

18 state, it 

J speech on 

nee, but I 

queen and 

and would 

the height 

on is such 

f Princess 

Qgs of all 

s, i J)eg of 

should be 

will coiae 

in it, will 

lave their 


To the same. 

Jamiary 15, 1872.— My appearance at Sheffield this time has 
no personal object. I go simply because I was asked, not because 
I wished to appear, nor because I hoped from so doing I should 
reap any personal advantage. I have long since given up all 
expectation of re-election. I feel that my course is run, and that 
others think so. I think I was weak in yielding to Dodworth's 
request; but the bolt is shot, and the result cannot be very 
mischievous to my body. ... I am not surprised that you should 
think old friends drop from me. 'Tis the nature of things— I am 
old ; have been long, too long, before the world. Young faces 
and new hopes excite vivid emotions. I feel no pain at this and 
make no complaint. Old services are forgotten amid the rash of 
fresh expectations. And all this makes the passing away of life 
less of a regret. 

The postponed meeting was held on January 17, 
1872. Mr. Roebuck was careful to repeat that he had no 
personal object to serve in attending. He was there simply 
to gratify those friends who wished to hear opinions on 
the present condition of the country from one who, " cast, 
as it were, ashore, as on the bank of some rushing river, 
might look on that river with calmness and equanimity, 
and could regard affairs with a more tranquil, and calm, 
and assured, and penetrating eye, than if mixed up in the 
turmoil." The speech was largely an attack on Mr. Glad- 
stone. He described him and Mr. Disraeli as bidding 
against each other, Mr. Gladstone overtrumping the card 
of Household Suffrage with Irish Disestablishment. He 
saw in every act the resolute determination of Mr. Glad- 
stone to obtain personal power and domination, even at 
the expense of the State and the Constitution. He spoke 
of him as a man gifted with many great powers, but at 
the same time gifted with many great weaknesses. 

He is a great speaker, but to my mind no orator, lie has 
great powers of what is called eloqueuce, and he certainly has 



I -V 

i 1 



the command of resource in the business of deception. Besides, 
he has that sort of feminine vindictiveuess that always runs with 
weak-minded men, and you will see that everybody who, in any 
portion of his career, crossed his path, is punished by a crushing 
power. This is brought to bear in many and curious ways. 1 le 
cannot maintain his own counsel, but out it comes ; what is within 
him he must declare. ... If you allow the domination of Wt. 
Gladstone to proceed onward as it has been proceeding, you 
will be a very foolish people, deserving of every species of degra- 
dation to which people can be subjected. 

This speech was remarkable as containing one of Mr. 
Roebuck's rare admissions of mistake in policy, or change 
in opinion. In an earlier part of this book we saw with 
what vehemence he assailed the House of Lords, and how 
impatiently he denounced Lord John Russell's acceptance 
of the peers' emasculation of the Municipal Corporations 
Bill. Instead of concessions, he had said, " Let us re-enact 
every one of our original measures, saying that such was 
the pleasure of the people — let those who dare resist it." 
And he had insisted that " unmixed is the evil which 
the House of Lords inflicts upon the nation, whether 
we view them as legislators, as judges, or simply as an 

But now, after forty years, he found a long string of 
reasons in vindication of the House of Lords, and justifying 
its recent action in throwing out the Ballot Bill. " I have 
lived long enough," he said, " to find out that I have made 
blunders in life, and I have acquired the courage to pro- 
claim the blunders I have made. ... I recollect perfectly 
well in my youth having written a paper headed ' Of what 
Use is the House of Lords ? ' but I must say I made a great 

He repeated this confession at the Cutlers' Feast i ^ the 
next autumn. *' I answered that question very much to my 
own satisfaction then, but very much to my own dis- 
approbation now. I could not at that time see the great 

«^ -_:-.r^ 

*^\fc*wr^>J|t> i^^T.^^J 


ion. Besides, 
iiys runs with 
^ who, in any 
l)y a crushing 
LIS ways. Ho 
ihat is within 
ation of IMr. 
ceedint;, you 
cies of dcirra- 

one of Mr. 
Y, or change 
ire saw with 
is, and how 
5 acceptance 
us re-enact 
it such was 
L'c resist it." 
evil wliich 
)ly as an 

string of 

" I have 
lave made 
,ge to pro- 


Of what 
,de a great 

ast i ^ the 

uch to my 

own dis- 

the great 


advantage whicli I now think arises from the existence of 
that assembly." 

A year later (March, 1873), Mr. Roebuck, speaking at 
a Foresters' banquet, bade the working-men beware of 
" miserable " demagogues, " mischief makers," who, " like 
a serpent, come to bite and instil venom." This advice 
was not well received by those to whom it was addressed. 
In the same month the sound of the coming electoral 
battle was heard in the appointment of a committee to get 
up a requisition unking Mr. Foebuck to come forward for 
the representation of Sheffield at the next election. 

It was, in fact, manifest that an appeal to the country 
could not long be deferred, and a;? it was deemed certain 
that the age of Mr. Hadfield would prevent him from 
seeking re-election, the Liberals of Sheffield were anxious 
to be provided with a suitable candidate, as a colleague for 
Mr. Mundella. But there were many causes of dissension, 
making agreement impossible. The natural result was 
that, when the end of the year came, two suggested Liberal 
candidates for Mr. Hadfield's seat were in the field — Mr. 
Alfred Allott, a local aspirant, and Mr. Joseph Chamberlain, 
then Mayor of Birmingham. Mr. Chamberlain's presence 
at a mass meeting, where he was enthusiastically adopted, 
filled the Conservatives with apprehension, and compelled 
Mr. Roebuck to make up his mind decisively whether he 
would stand or not. 

To John Lawloit {ShoffieJd). 

January, 1874.— One crreatoliject in all I do and say is to meet 
the wishes of my friends atid justify their kindness and friendship. 
Now, you must be well aware that amoii,<,'st those friends there arc 
often conflicting views and opinions, and that I must often be in 
a difliculty when endeavouriiit,' to meet the wishes of all that wish 
me well. I am in that position at this present time. Some of 
my heartiest supporters desire that I should hold ii public meet- 
in*? in January and address the electors. Other -friends, equally 
hearty, believe that such a proceeding would be exceedingly 





unwise and out of time, and I must own that I believe this latter 
opinion to be coiTcct. 

Further consideration confirmed him in the opinion 
that it was inexpedient for him at that time to address the 
electors, and although this was based on the plea of the un- 
desirability of prematurely involving the borough in the 
turmoil of a contested election, his followers despaired of 
having him as a candidate, and in public put forth reasons, 
based on " pride, and principle, and policy," why he should 
neither appear to court the suffrages of the electors, nor 
care to go back to the House of Commons. They made 
up their minds, indeed, that Mr. Chamberlain would fill 
the vacant seat. But when, on the sudden dissolution of 
Parliament a week or two after, it was found that Liberal 
opinion was acutely divided between Mr. AUott and Mr. 
Chamberlain, the chance was too good to be lost, and 
bolder counsels prevailed. Mr. Roebuck's hesitations were 
thrown to the winds. Telegram after telegram poured in, 
praying him to go down, and at last Mr. and Mrs. Roebuck 
went to Sheffield to stay with Mr. Thomas Jessop, a very 
staunch and hearty friend. 

The Tories, avoiding the mistake of putting one of their 

own party in the field, united with the Roebuckites, and 

exerted all their strength to return one who, though still 

calling himself " a thorough-going Radical," systematically 

supported the Tories, and opposed the Liberals far more 

effectually than any Conservative could have done. The 

rival claims of Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. AUott were, 

indeed, submitted to a mass meeting in Paradise Square, 

and, in obedience to the verdict, Mr. Allott retired. But 

it was too late. The short time that intervened between 

the dissolution and the completion of the election, was 

eminently favourable to Mr. Roebuck and unfavourable 

to Mr. Chamberlain. It enabled Mr. Roebuck's friends to 

dispense with more than a single appearance of their 

candidate in public, and it gave Mr. Chamberlain very few 

■ M 4'- 

this latter 

3 opinion 
idress the 
of the un- 
^h in the 
jpaired of 
h reasons, 
he should 
ctors, nor 
hey made 
vould fill 
)lution of 
it Liberal 
t and Mr. 
lost, and 
ions were 
Doui'ed in. 
)p, a very 

e of their 

cites, and 

)ugh still 


'ar more 

He. The 

tt were. 


d. But 


ion, was 


lends to 

)f their 

ery few 


opportunities to make himself known to the electors — 
a misfortune that was enhanced by the death of his father, 
which compelled his absence from Sheffield for two or 
three days. 

Mr. Roebuck's one election speech was prefaced by his 
customary bit of autobiography — 

Sometliint? very near to fifty years ago, I determined witbiti 
myself to be a public man upon the public stage of England, and 
I thought when I regarded the state of party in this country, 
and the form of government under which we live, that there 
required something more than there iuid hitherto been seen, 
something more than the clashing battles of Tory and Whig, of 
Conservative and Liberal ; that there ought to be a body of men 
neither of one party nor the other, but simply of the party of the 
country itself. I determined within myself to be one of that 
party. I hoped that by showing an example others might follow 
in my steps ; but I determined that everything — place, profit, dis- 
tinction, honour — all should be sacrificed to the one great olijeet 
that I desired, namely, to bring before my countrymen a body of 
independent members, who should follow only the interests of the 
country. Now that has been my object through life, and so 
steadily have I pursued it that although often place, power, and 
profit have been within my grasp, I forfeited them all because I 
wished to continue onward in the course which I had begun, 
namely, au independent member of Parliament. That I have been. 
From the beginning to the hour in which you withdrew your 
confidence from me, I was emphatically an independent member 
of Parliament. Neither Whig nor Tory could count upon me, and 
the " whipper in " dared not approach me with his whip. It has 
been invariably said — aye, I speak it with proud confidence — 
" It is not worth while to ask for Roebuck's vote. You don't 
know which way he will vote ; he votes as he thinks proper." 
Now, that was the guide and rule of my conduct when 1 entered 

Mr. Roebuck, aforetime, had been a resolute champion 
of secular education. The xclusion from the model school 
he founded in Bath of all religious instruction beyond a 
reading from the Bible by the Master, proved a not 




? (1 



inconsiderablo factor in his defeat at Bath in 1837. Speak- 
ing now of religious teaching in our schools, be defined the 
Bible as " the great well of English undefiled," and in a 
few sentences afterwards ho continued — 

It is not one book, it is many l)ooks. It is literature, it is 
history, it is law, it is pi'ovorhs, it is poetry, it is essays, it is all, 
it is evorythiuj?, it is the liiblo. lie is an ignorant man who 
wishes to shut the Bible out from the young of this country. 

By a device, attributed to the other side, Mr. Allott^ 
in spite of his protests, was nominated, and the mayor 
refused to allow his name to be withdrawn. In the result, 
Mr. Roebuck polled 14,193 votes, Mr. Mundella 12,858, 
Mr. Chamberlain 11,058, and Mr. Allott C21. The winners 
were jubilant, and from all parts of the country there were 
expressions of satisfaction, for not even Liberals were 
proof against the piquancy of the prospect of the House 
of Commons once more enjoying " Tear 'em's " pungent 

Of course there were the inevitable banquets in Sheffield. 
At the first of these, in February, Mr. Roebuck said — 

The work at the poll, and the emotion expressed this evening, 
are not the result of a nicre passing feeling. They are the reward 
of a life of service. You tell me my life has been spent in a way 
that you approve, and when I think from whom that approval 
comes, that yon represent, and represent fairly, the great bulk 
of the people of England, who are my countrymen, have I not 
a right to be proud, and shall I be accused of egotism because 
on this occasion I speak for myself and in obedience to your 
approval ? 

He attributed the Liberal reverses to the feeling of 
insecurity created in the country by " a reckless, hasty, 
petulant course of action." 

And here, again, there was another softening of old 
beliefs — 



837. Speak- 
defined the 
ed," and in a 

tcraturo, it is 
^Siiys, it is all, 
aiit man who 

, Mr. AUott 

the mayor 
a the result, 
lolla 12,858, 
The winners 
T there were 
berals were 
r the House 
s " pungent 

in Sheffield, 
said — 

this evening, 
fe tiie reward 
•cut in a way 
bat approval 
e great bulk 
have I not 
tism because 
ncc to your 

feeling of 
:less, hasty, 

ling of old 

I say to my Liberal friends, you, in your younger days, beliovcd 
that the Church of England was an institution that was very 
injurious to the people of England. I answer, as one of these, 
I did believe so, but tinw; has gone on, and the Church of England 
has improved, and with her improvement my opinions have 
changed. I believe the Liberal party has changed. I ask the 
Liberal party if they would now have Disestablishment? I say 
no, I do not l)elieve they would. 

If I might presume to give any adviee to the great men who 
may hereafter govern this country, I would say to them, "Make 
a new party ; forget on the one side what is called Liberal, and 
on the other what is called Conservative, and make a National 
party. Let England bo your concern, and not party considera- 

A " Working-men's banquet " followed a month or two 
later. Referring to some outside criticisms on his attitude 
on the Trades Union Commission, Mr. lloebuck remarked — 

These arc things that I regard not. I answer them by my 
life. I say to any man who has spoken in covert slander, " Look 
at what I have done, and why I have done it, and for what I 
have done it ? " I have never been a paid agitator. I have never 
lived upon the hard earnings of my fellow working-men ; I have 
never gone forward to spread discontent amongst working-men 
against masters whom they ought to respect. I have done none 
of these things, and perhaps, therefore, you dislike me. I am 
known unto you. My life has been dedicated to my country. 
Such as it is, governed by the intelligence which Ood has given me, 
it has been employed, I think honestly, fearlessly, on behalf of 
ray fellow countrymen. I have not asked whether they be rich, 
or whether they be poor. Whether they be great men, or whether 
they be little men, I have expected nothing from them. I told 
them what I thought of them. If I thought well of them, I said 
that good of them ; if I thought ill of them, I told them what 
I thought. And shall it now be said that I am sent to that 
Labour Commission to represent the masters ? 

He explained that when asked to serve on that Com- 
mission he accepted the position in obedience to the 
dictates of duty, although knowing it would cost him his 





seat in Parliament. He counselled Englishmen against 
leaving their country at the instigation of those who would 
have them emigrate, advising thom to remain at home and 
make her great. " And I hold him to be a dastard 
Englishman who drives Englishmen from England. . . . 
There are many here that Hit across the country like a 
bad miasma — or like the light that leads you into a bog." 

The peroration was simple, but very effective : — 

I remember what has been stated as to the allotted life of 
man. I have passed that. Many years are not allotted to me 
now, but those years, whatever they may be, shall be dedieated 
to Uiy countrymen ; and 1 feel that in a community like the one 
I see before me I am doinj? f?ood in my generation, and in my 
latter days paviujj the way for the good that comes when butwecu 
Eiiu'lishmeu and Englishmen, rank and rank, men shall be 
brothers, and wo shall tight the war of life against the whole 
world, shoulder to shoulder, Englishmen all, all brothers, aU 
deserving before the law to be cherished and recognized, doing 
their duty, and doing it honoured amongst men. 

^' ^V,. 

5 , 

( 345 ) 

t against 
ho would 
lome aud 
[ind. . . . 
y liko a 
a boy." 

L'd life of 
led to me 
c the one 
tid in my 
I between 
sbiill be 
ho whole 
bhers, all 
ed, doing 



Mr. RoEiJUCK did not take any prominent part in the 
debates in tho first Session of tho new rarliamcnt. Tbo 
expansion of tho constituencies by household sutlVai^e had 
given rise to a demand for an extension of tho hours of 
polling, that tho more industrious portion of the artisans 
might be able to vote in tho evening, without leaving; tiieir 
employment during working hours. Mr. Roebuck declared 
himself against tho change, alleging that no working-man 
had complained to hira. In Juno ho was fountl opposing, 
as usual, Sir Wilfrid Lawson's Permissive Dill. 

In July, Mr. Butt brought forward a |)roposal for Home 
Rule, in the form of a motion " That tiiis House will 
immediately resolve itself into a connnitteo to consider tho 
present Parliamentary relations between CJreat Britain and 
Ireland." For some years past J\lr. Roebuck had preached 
the doctrine that Ireland had no substantial grievances — 
her miseries, he insisted, were caused by her own weak- 
nesses, prejudices, narrowness, mutual hostility, and im- 
providence. Tho Irish members camo to Parliament 
eternally whining like mendicants, and the Roman Catholic 
clergy had, he said, preached sedition, and had taught tho 
Irish people to hate the English rule. Ireland was not fit 
for Home Rule. The result of it would bo that civil war 
would break out before the power of England had been 
withdrawn a single hour. Tho north would rise against 



) ; 





the south and would put it dowv Let Irishmen, he 
counselled, learn how much their true happiness is promoted 
by the union with England. 

On the 2nd of July, Mr. Roebuck, with apologies for 
his feebleness, rose to enforce these views, to insist upon 
self-help and self-reliance as the one thing needed by 
Ireland, and to maintain how fatal separation from England 
would be. His voice was so low that he was called upon 
to speak up. On this, for a few sentences, he raised his 
voice to a pitch of clearness and emphasis reminiscent of 
his vigorous days. But almost immediately afterwards he 
stopped abruptly in the midst of an unfinished sentence. 

The House gave him an encouraging cheer. He in- 
dicated his appreciation of its kindness, but he could not 
recover the thread of his argument. Extending his arms, 
with his hands open, and remai'king, " My forces fail me ; 
I cannot go on," he resumed his seat, with the assistance 
of members rear him. A minute before, it seemed as if 
he were possessed of his old energy, and would deliver an 
effective and vigorous speech. He sat down among many 
indications of the generous and warm-hearted sympathy 
which in the House of Commons rises superior to all 
jiolitical considerations. He did not, however, leave the 
House, but sat out the I'est of the debate, and voted in 
the Division. 

The state of health thus indicated compelled Mr. 
Roebuck to make his attendances in the House of Commons 
both brief and rare. Thus he took no part in the animated 
discussions on the attempt made in the Public Worship 
Regulation Bill to curb Ritualism in the Church of England. 
But his opinion on this much-controverted measure was 
expressed in a letter to a Sheffield clergyman, in which he 
described himself as deeply grieved at the strife raging in 
the Church. He could hardly fancy, he said, that the two 
Archbishops, and the present and past Lord Chancellors, 
promoted that Bill as part of a plan for pulling down the 


hmen, he 

>logies for 
isist upon 
ceded by 
I England 
.lied upon 
raised his 
niscent of 
awards he 

He in- 
30uld not 
his arms, 
i fail me ; 
nod as if 
leliver an 
ng many 
or to all 
leave the 
voted in 

lied Mr. 
sure M'as 
vhieh he 
aging in 
the two 
lown the 


Church. So far as he could see, the only object of the Bill 
was to put a stop to the silly and dangerous doings of men 
who were carried away by fanatical notions as to the im- 
portance of dress, posture, and genuHections — men whoso 
great purpose seemed to be to make Hgiros of themselves, 
to be stared at by young girls and silly women. Ho was 
prepared to aid in the endeavour to repress these fellies. 

In another letter, of some^vhat earlier date, touching on 
the same subject, he had written — 

I have a great fontcui])t fur the tniinpcry and puerility of 
whiit is culled Ritualism, a-n, as luiiii!; coiitrnry to the feeling's 
of the large majority of the inomhers of the ("hurch of l^nuland, 
I am prepared to insist tluit it be nut manifested in the churches 
which are public. If a man build a church and continue it 
private property, he may he i)ermitted to play in it what foolish 
pranks he pleases ; but he ou,;j:ht not to have the sanction of the 
State to what mii,'ht be considered private or particular folly. 
As to the Ecclesiastical Courts, T am prepared to support any well- 
devised scheme for their reform or reconstruction. ISut the 
reform of a legal system is a far more dillicult matter than un- 
learned peisous supj)osc. The reform onuht to l)e complete and 
systematic ; piecemeal reforms are mischievous. The thing ought 
to be completely done, or not attempted. 1 am not jtrepared to 
point out any known man competent to the task of framing a 
new and better system. There must, however, be such men to 
be found if properly sought for. Honesty, knowledge, coui-agc, 
ought to be the ciu'ef (pialities in the character of the ecclesiastical 

There is nothing remarkable to record in Jlr. Roe- 
b- ck's Parliamentary work in 1S75. He earnestly advo- 
cated the passing of the liurials Bill, and, speaking on yet 
another of the perpetually recurring Irish Coercion Bills, 
he repeated his old contention that, adnutting the bad 
Government to which Ireland ha<l been suljected in the 
past, since the Reform Act the House of Commons had 
honestly and successt'idly striven to do justice to Ireland. 
At that moment, he insisted, the people of Ireland were 




as well governed as those of England. He paid various 
visits to his constituents, and showed his old interest in 
education by attending the re-opening of the Manchester 
AtheniBum by Lord Chief Justice Coleridge. In this year 
he received a very graceful compliment from his colleague 
in the representation of Sheffield. Mr. Mundella had been 
so fortunate as to acquire portraits of Mr. Roebuck and 
Lord Brougham, painted when they were in the prime of 
life, by Mr. Pickersgill, R.A., and he presented these to 
the local museum. The conjunction was especially appro- 
priate, because of the relations of intimacy subsisting 
between Brougham and Roebuck. On the occasion of 
Brougham's death, in ISGS, Mr. Roebuck had pronounced 
a eulogy upon him as " a wise, a great, and a good man," 
when urging upon the Government the suitability of 
erecting a monument to his memory. 

Mr. Roebuck supported (187G) the proposal of the 
Government to add to the Royal style and title of her 
Majesty the appellation, " Empress of India." " I like," 
he said, " the word ' Queen ' better than ' Empress,' but 
what I have to consider is the position which England 
holds on this question." He answered the questions. Was 
it wise to make any alteration at all ? and, Was it wise to 
make the alteration which^the Ministry proposed ? — in the 
affirmative, although acknowledging that it would be well 
to localize the title and keep it strictly for use with regard 
to India. 

To Mrs. Roebuck. 

10, Ashloy Phico, May 8, 187G. — ... On Saturday the Duke 
of Welliugtou called. Ho imiiiediatoly be<^aii a])Out the Titles Bill, 
lu the course of the convorsation lie told nio this story. 

" My father was Prince of "Waterloo, but he never called him- 
self so. Ho had too many titles to mention them all on all 
occasions, but he had once to pay dear for them. He told a man 
to order dinner for him at a particular hotel. The man did so, 
mentioning all the Duke's titles. The Duke came, waited a short 





time, ' Is the din ner not coming ? ' he said. ' Why don't you bring 
the dinner?' Tlie waiter answered, 'AVe are waiting for the 
rest of the party.' Thoy had prepared dinner for about twenty 
people— and which cost £20." 

Now, here is a letter of gossip for you ! 

The old dislike to coercive measures of sobriety cropped 
out once more on the Irish Sunday Closing Bill (1.S77), 
Mr. Roebuck admitted that, at first, under the impression 
that the people of Ireland wanted this measure, and tliat 
drunkenness was exceptionally rampant on Sundays, he 
was disposed to support it ; but subsequently convinced of 
the inaccuracy of these beliefs, ho strongly opposed pro- 
visions which, he artjued, would increase rather than 
diminish Sunday drinkinrr.and he urged that the proper plan 
was to provide rational amusement by opening museums. 

When the dis([uiet that had prevailed in the Turkish 
provinces of Eastern Europe culminated in the Bulgarian 
massacres, Mr. Roebuck gave his support to the policy (jf 
Lord Bcaconsfield's Government, maintaining that it was 
in harmony with the past history of this country, and 
that it was calculated to maintain the prestige and god 
name of England tliroughout the world. True to Ids 
antipathy to Mr. Gladstone and his methods, ho aimed his 
invectives less at the Turkish crimes than at the great 
Liberal's fervid denunciation of them. This he descril)ed 
as a disgraceful clamour — " a row " made for party pur- 
poses without consideration of consequences, weakening 
the hands of the Government and endangering a war 
productive of far greater evils. Wv. Gladstone was, in his 
view, "a bastard philanthropist," and "no statesman." 
Roebuck was strongly in favour of sustaining the Turkish 
Empire ; and while he denounced Russia for cruelty, false- 
ness, and cowardice, ho championed the Turk as " an 
honest kind of good fellow," and " the gentleman " 
amongst nationalities. But while the Turk was a man 
for whom he had the greatest possible respect, he hated 

I !' 1 



and detested the Turkish Government as heartily as he 
abhorred that of Russia. The war he believed to have 
been entered upon simply for dynastic purposes, ind the 
policy for England was to maintain peace, as far k? it was 
consistent with English interests — which was only another 
way of saying with the interests of the world. With these 
views, uttered at the Sheffield Cutlers' Feast of 1.S77, were 
mingled scoffs at IMr. Gladstone's enthusiasm, passion, 
vanity, and self-sufficiency. " He may be a very good 
chopper, but, depend upon it, he is not an English 

Being, at the commencement of 1878, unequal to the 
physical etibrt of addressing his constituents on this 
Eastern (luestion, Mr. Roebuck complied with a request 
for a statement of his views, in the following letter : — 

To a CoHHtUucnt. 

19, Ashley Pl((n\ Jaiumnj 7, 1878. — It is with jrreat difficulty 
that I Ijrinjjf niysolf to the task of auswcrins' your letter. I am 
oppressfid by a groat sorrow, and my mind is bowed down and 
darkened by a cloud which now hangs over me. The oldest and 
dearest of my friends * has died suddenly, and the blow has 
shaken me heavily. Excuse me, then, if my answer is short and 
general. You seem surprised that I have not publicly expressed 
mv views on what is called the Eastern Question. I have been 
silent because I believed I could do no good by speaking, and 
might do harm. The evidence before the world is necessarily \ cry 
incomplete, so that the means of forming a judgment is imperfect. 
Besides, I believed that the Governinent intended to do what was 
required by the honour and interests of England. I knew them 
to be men of ability, and furthermore, I believed them to be 
lionest. They have before them the best evidence the case all'ords, 
and their judgments would not, I conceived, be aided by any 
suggestions of mine. Moreover, I knew that there was great 
danger of misconception abroai. Foreigners seldom understand 
us, and are always prone to juJge all that we say with prejudice, 
and to draw conclusions from our words that were never intended 

* G. J. Graham. 




ly as he 

to have 

, jind the 

t;« it was 

r another 

ith these 

577, were 


3ry good 


al to the 

on this 

I request 

t difficulty 

ter. I am 

down and 

oldest and 

blow has 

short and 

■ expressed 

have heen 

tinij", and 

sarily \ ery 


what was 

new them 

lem to bo 

se aflords, 

hy any 

was great 




Seeing, then, that there was no necessity for my si>caking, I held 
my tonf^uo. I find no fault with those who take a ililVereiit view. 
I suppose them to believe that they are doing their duty l)y giving 
expression to what I think crude and unsujjported opinions — 
opinions which, if spoken by myself, with my views, would have 
been, in my judgment, simply mischievous impertinence. Well, 
then, you may ask, have you no opinions concerning the present 
state of things ? My answer is, I certainly have opinions on the 
matter, and very strong ones, which I shall deem it my duty to 
set forth in my place in Parliament, but which would do no good 
if oJfU'iouslij stated at the present time and uu«lcr present circum- 

As my chief great aim is the maintenance of peace, and the 
preservation of the interests and honour of Knghind, and as I 
believe that to be the aim of the Administration, I hold that the 
safest course for any one like myself, having no ollicial position, 
is to abstain from interference in matters which are at present 
veiled from our view. I deem it unjust and dangerous to attri- 
bute intentions to our (iovernmeut which no one can prove them 
to entertain, and which they altogether disdain. l>y so doing we 
weaken their influence abroad, and render uiore diflicnlt the task 
which lies before them, and take away from the power for good 
which our country ought to possess. The discordant clamour of 
contending parties here in England does intinite mischief, as it 
leads foreign nations to believe that there is no stidiility in our 
councils, and that, for anything we can do in the great troubles 
of Europe, England may be left out of consideration. If, on the 
other hand, we were to exhibit to the world the spectacle of a 
nation steadily supporting our Government, the word of that 
Government would have weight with all parties interested in the 
conflict going on. and our endeavour to procure ])eace and an 
honouralile settlement of the present discords would he successful. 

The war, in my mind, is a thoroughly unjust proceeding on 
the part of Russia. 1'lie pretences she puts forth ai'o, in my 
mind, mere figments. She is no less barbarous than Turkey -, she 
is far more dishonest. I have no admiration for the Turkish 
(Jovernment ; l)Ut I do not believe that the substitution of 
Russia for Turkey would be a benefit to the wretched people who 
are made the pretext for the present invasion. 

In this state of things it is very difficult to choose a safe 



and honest course for England. To support cither would be to 
support bad ^'ovemmeiit. If we were to support Russia, in 
addition to bud ^'overnnient wo should aid national dishonesty. 
Then, on the other hand, if we stand still and allow Russia to 
possess herself of all European Turkey, we should fatally injure 
the interests of Enjjjland, and the cause of liberty iu Europe. In 
this state, what arc we to do ? Withhold aid from both parties, 
but ^ivc Russia pliiinly to understand that we shall make (errifori'fl 
(iflfiraiuUsemciit a mnts belli. Russia would not dare to j?o to war 
with Eiifjland. We need no armies. A fleet in the Baltic and 
one in the Mediterranean would paralyze Russia ; and we may 
rest assured that Austria, France, Germany, and the lesser States 
of tlie East and South of Europe, look with no friendly eyes upon 
Russia. We have no interests that cross those of these countries. 
Peace with the world is our policy ; and, if we presented to the 
world the spectacle of a united people, we should have weit^ht in 
the councils of Eurf)pe. But, (iuarrellins^ with one another, and 
tearinii: each other to pieces, the world believes us to be paralyzed 
by our discords, lauirhs at and scorns us. Would that we could 
put aside party feuds and act as brethren should act, and thus 
our course would be plain, and our policy safe and easy. In my 
present state of mind, I cannot write more ; but I hope the time 
is not fur distant when I shall be able to explain myself fully 
upon this important matter, and support that policy which the 
true interests of our country require. 

During the month that followed, Mr. Roebuck was 
compelled by serious indisposition to absent himself much 
from Parliament ; but in May the opportunity which he 
had desired of exposing his views on the Eastern Question 
in Parliament, was afforded to him. In connection with 
this, there occurred an incident which gave vise to much 
feeling and misconception. The House was debating the 
action of the Government in bringing Indian troops to 
Malta, and Mr. Roebuck, on the evening of May 23, made 
a speech in support of this stop, and in condemnation of the 
course pursued by the Opposition, in bringing forward 
Lord Hartington's hostile motion. From his place among 
the Liberals, leaning on his stick, he bitterly denounced 


I ,, 



Duld be to 
Russia, in 
Russia to 
;ally injure 
urope. In 
til parties, 
e territorinl 
) tjo to war 
Baltic and 
id we may 
3sser States 
r eyes upon 
3 countries, 
ited to the 
i weijjfht in 
lother, and 
e paralyzed 
it we could 
,, and thus 
sy. In my 
[)e the time 
:self fully 
which the 

3uck was 

self much 

which he 


ion with 

to much 

)ating the 

;roops to 

23, made 

ion of the 


,ce amonii: 


them with scathing epigrams. An eye-witness of the scene 
wrote — 

At first he spoke in so low a tone as to lie hardly audible. 
The silence, however, speedily liecaine so intense that every word 
could be heard, and, so cncounii^ed, the lion. i,'eiitleman made 
an effort to revive his old style. In the middle of his speech 
a curious little incident occurred, which brouti^ht out the sympatiiy 
of the House. The stillness of the chamber had for a moment 
been broken l)y the movements of a clumsy member, and there 
was a cry of " Order." The interruption, which was unintelligible 
to the veteran, attracted his attention, and for a moment he 
paused to ascertain what it meant. Leanini^ forward on his 
stick, and turninj; round with evident dillieulty, he inquired 
whether it was meant that he was out of order, and, by way of 
explaininj^ his rerpiest, added the words, " I did not hear, and 
I cannot see." Out of consideration for the ai^e and antecedents 
of the hon. member, the Liberals refrained from demonstrations 
of all kinds throughout his speech, while, for a similar cause, the 
Tories were all tlie louder in their applause, the loudest cheers 
beinff evoked by what was nothinj; more nor less than a covert 
attack on the sincerity of ]Mr. (lladstone. When iMr. Roebnek 
ended, he left the House amid a ,<reneral exodus of members. 

Later in the night, Mr. Roebuck was answered by Sir 
Henry James, who worked up the House to an intense 
pitch of excitement by quoting a passage from one of 
Mr. Roebuck's old Pamphlets. In this lie had abused 
the Tories with even more vigour than that with which 
to-night he had vilified the Liberals. Sir Henry James, 
who Avas exceedingly animated, spoke amid continual 
interruptions from the Tory benches. When ho quoted 
the declaration that the Tories were persons who only 
wanted to "fleece the people," there was quite an uproar 
in the House ; and Sir Henty Drummond Wolff, amid loud 
cries, rose to inquire whether the ijuotation was in order. 
The Speaker, to the delight of the Opposition, ruled in 
favdur (tf Sir Henry James, who, having Avith difficulty, 
and amid shouts of " Date," " Question," and other cries, 

2 A 








finished reading the extract, ended by dramatically tearing 
up the manuscript, Hinging the pieces on the table, and 
inviting Mr. Roebuck to take his seat among his political 

Sir Henry James was still speaking to a crowded 
House when Mr. Roebuck made his appearance and moved 
slowly up the floor to his usual seat, the first below the 
gan>,'way on the Opposition side. Mr. Dillwyn, who 
claimed the seat, though conceding it by courtesy to 
Mr. Roebuck when advised of his intention to be present, 
showed no disposition to give way, nor did Mr. Walter or 
Sir Charles Dilke, who occupied the next places, make 
an effort to incommode themselves for Mr. Roebuck's 
convenience. Some, on the other side, cried " Oh," and 
broke out into cheers when Mr. Gorst and Mr. R. Yorke 
ostentatiously crossed the floor and offered the hon. 
member a seat among the ultra Tories. For a moment 
or two there seemed some hesitation in the mind of the 
honourable member. In the result he accepted the invita- 
tion, and took the proffered seat amid the prolonged cheers 
of the Ministerialists. Several around said to him, " Now 
you are here, why not stay with us?" His answer was 
a shake of the head, " That I cannot do. It will not do." 

About this period the " interviewer " for a London 
newspaper attributed to the " little man," whom he found 
in a shawl dressing-gown in Ashley Place, the statement 
that he had a very high opinion of a large proportion 
of the working class, but little sympathy with their leadera. 
He was represented as saying that he had often thought 
that, had he chosen to sacrifice his self-respect, he might 
have become a leader of working men himself.* They 
liked, as soldiers do, to be led by gentlemen. They had 
no distrust of their social superiors; on the contrary^ 
trusting them far more than their own brethren. 

* Seeonte, pp. 118 and 204. 

:' ,1 

y tearing 

ible, and 


id moved 
elow the 
yn, who 
irtesy to 
\ present, 
ifValter or 
les, make 
Oh," and 
R. Yorke 
the hon. 

id of the 
le invita- 
[ed cheers 
m, " Now 
swer was 
not do." 

he found 
ir leadera. 
1 thought 
he might 
f.* They 
They had 



They think a f^entlcman has nothing,' to piiu, and they i,'ive 
him credit for perfect disinterestedness. In the main tlicy'aro 
quite ric!:ht. Sometimes I regret that I did not take tliem in 
hand. I feel certain I could have helped them, for I know 
their wants and feclinjrs, their faults and failinj^s, thorou{,'hly, 
and 1 like and esteem them— that is, those who work instead of 
talkiui?. I am perfectly frank in tellini,' tliem of their faults, and 
they like me none the worse for doing so. 

I I 








Already, in the spring of 1.S7.S, politicians and constitu- 
encies were beginning to look forward to the time when 
the country would be called upon to pronounce a verdict 
on the doings of the Beaconstield adnnnistration. The 
problems of the future exercised both Mr. Roebuck's friends 
and his opponents in Sheffield. 

To William Finher {Shofiielil). 

Afnil 19, 1878. — My own wish is to retire; the fatigues of 
Parliament pressing now heavily upon niu. But I feel this to be 
u great crisis when opinions are of vital importance. I have been 
greatly pained by much of the talk that has beeu going on, while 
our country, its greatness, and even safety, arc greatly threatened. 
In this state of thiujjs, to shrink from the strife, and for one's 
own ease to retire from the struggle, would he paltry cowardice. 
In this case, then, I wish to know the wishes of my old friends. 
Do they desire to retain my services such as they are and will be ? 
Do they think that I should be useful, with all the failings which 
decaying nature brings ? Do tlicy believe that, weak veteran 
that I am, my ligure in the front of the battle would he an aid 
to the cause of our commou beloved country ? If they think 
and say, " Yes," then I am I'cady to undertake the straggle, and 
do my utmost in this hour of need and danger. My life has beeu 
one continued strife in favour of great principles, and whenever 
I may retire I shall feel that most of the objects at which I have 
aimed have been won. I should be proud, even when this is the 
case, to continue my labours for the purpose of upholding the 



honour and safety of Kiiirliiiicl, To dio iu huruoss in such a cuuhc 
would bo a j,'lory and a triumph. 



10 when 
.n. The 
8 friends 

tigues of 
his to 1)u 
lavc been 
ou, while 
for one's 
ward ice. 

will be ? 
^8 which 

\Q an aid 
ey think 
gi^le, and 
has been 
;h I have 
lis is the 
ding the 

In Juno tho local Liberals threw down tho giigo of battlo 
by adopting Mr. S. D. Waddy as Mr. Mundolla's colleague 
when the next contest shouhl come, and the challenge was 
taken up. Mr. Roebuck presented himself as a candidate 
for re-election, and delivered a speech which showed that ho 
had lost none of his okl habit of hard hitting. Tho meeting 
was notable as tho first public acknowledgment of an 
allianco between him and tho Conservative party. Those 
present pledged themselves to support Mr. Roebuck at the 
next election, " and whatever other candidate may be chosen 
by the committee of his Liberal antl Conservative friends." 

Tho last occasion on which Mr. Roebuck addressed tho 
House of Commons was in the debute on the memorable 
resolutions of Lord Hartington (August, 1S7H), condemning 
tho protocols of tho Berlin Congress. Ho began with an 
apology. " I feel myself weak," he said, " and almost un- 
able to appear before this House, and I beg therefore its 
indulgence on the present occasion." That indulgence was 
readily accorded to him, and he proceeded to express the 
opinion that the Government, with respect to the Eastern 
Question, had pursued the right course, " bravely, sagaci- 
ously, successfully." 

At the end of the year, the declaration of war against 
Afghanistan compelled the Ministry to summon Parliament 
for a .short session. Mr. Roebuck had Intended to take 
part in the debate on Mr. AVhitbread's motion condemning 
the policy which led to the war, but the death of a brother- 
in-law prevented him. This was unfortunate. Remember- 
ing tho prominent part Mr. Roebuck took in the Afghan 
debates of 18413, his attitude, when history repeated itself, 
would have been interesting. The fact that he voted with 
the Government indicates the line he would have taken. 
He had come, by this time, to be regarded by the whips of 







1^128 1 

■50 i"^" nil 

■ 4 


. ... 1^ 




U 11.6 







c ^<° J% 


WEBSTER, ^.Y. 14580 








the Tory party as one of their flock. There is in existence 
a letter from Sir W. Hart Dyke regretting inability to 
find " a pair " for Mr. Roebuck for the division of December 
13, but offering to him the accommodation of his private 
room during the hours of waiting for the debate to end. 
Thus had Mr. Roebuck at last succumbed to that crack of 
the "whip," which he so scornfully resented during the 
election of 1874, when he said that neither Whig nor Tory 
could count upon his vote, and that no " whipper-in " dared 
approach him. 

In 1878, Mr. Roebuck was, on the recommendation of 
his antagonist of old days, then Mr. Disraeli, now Lord 
Beaconsfield, sworn in a member of the Queen's Most 
Honourable Privy Council. He committed to paper, in 
compliance with the wishes of his family, the following 
" Story of my being made a Privy Councillor " : — 

Sir John Brown, at the end of July, 1878, wrote asking me 
to request liOrd Beaconsfield to be a guest at the next Cutlers' 
feast. I weut, by appointment, to Downing Street, and after 
our talk on this matter was over, Lord Beaconsfield said, " I had 
intended, before I received your letter, to ask you to come and 
see me, as there is a matter upon which I desire to speak to you. 
Some time before I went to Berlin, the Queen wrote to me a 
letter in which she spoke of you. The paragraph was a very 
pretty one, and I had resolved to show it to you ; but in the 
bustle of my departure the letter was mislaid, but I can tell you 
tiie substance. Her Majesty said that she thought that some 
mark of her appreciation of your conduct should be conferred 
upon you. That conduct, she said, ' was that of a true patriot.' 
These were her words, and she applied to me to suggest the mode. 
I then proposed that the office of Privy Councillor would be an 
appropriate distinction. It would show thi't the distinction came 
from her Majesty herself, and in this case would not be official 
but simply personal ; the result of her Majesty's own approval, 
and not the appendage of any office. Would this suit your views 
and wishes ? " 

I answered, " Yes, certainly. I had long thought that such 
a distinction would be an honour, and one which, while it was 

\ - 

1 existence 
lability to 
lis private 
te to end. 
.t crack of 
lurinw the 
J nor Tory 
-in" dared 

idation of 

now Lord 

len's Most 

paper, in 


3 asking me 
ext Cutlers' 
, and after 
lid, " I had 
) come and 
eak to you. 
te to me a 
was a very 
but in the 
an tell you 
that some 
s conferred 
ue patriot.' 
b the mode, 
ould be an 
etion came 
> be official 
a approval, 
your views 

that such 
hile it was 


really an honour, could not bo doomet! by any one unworthy as 
the corrupt reward of corrupt conduct." "There is only one 
thing," said Lord lioaconstiold, " and that is to save you the 
trouble of a long journey to Osborne. I hope that the Court 
may go to Windsor, and that you may be sworn in there." 

On the morning of the 14th of August Zippy saw me to 
Victoria Station, where I found that the Tiord Chancellor, the 
Duke of Richmond and Gordon, the Duke of Northumberland, 
and Mr. Peel, Clerk of the Privy Council, were to be my fellow- 
travellers. There was pleasant chat on the way, the Duke of 
Eichmond most completely fulfilling his promise to take care of 
me. He insisted on giving me his arm, and helping me in and 
out of the railway carriage, the steamers, and the carriages into 
which we had to get before we arrived at Osborne. 

On the way down I said to Mr. Peel, on finding that I had 
to kneel to kiss her Majesty's hand, "By the Lord, I shall be 
like Gibbon if I go on my knees ; it will require somebody to 
help me up. Seriously, it will be very difficult and painful." 
Whereupon the Duke of Richmond said that he would arrange 
it, and so he did ; for after our arrival at Osborne he told me 
that the Queen had been so good as to dispense with my going 
on my knees, and that I should be permitted to kiss hands 

In due time I was called into the presence. Having made 
my bow, I found Prince Leopold sitting in a chair ; next to him 
the Duke of Richmond ; then the Lord Chancellor and the Duke 
of Northumberland, myself the last in the row, all standing. I 
was then called upon to take the oath of allegiance, then the long 
oath of a Privy Councillor ; then I kissed hands, and was, as one 
of the Council, present at the business which was then done. 

Before I was admitted to the presence Sir John Powell asked 
me to see him. I went, and found him with two books before 
him. He said that the Queen wished to have my autograph in 
those books on the date of my birth. 

After I had come from the audience, I was informed that her 
Majesty desired to see me, and would send for me. 

After some short time, the Duke of Richmond giving me his 
arm, we were ushered into the presence of lier Majesty. We 
found the Queen standing near the door with Prince Leopold on 
her right hand. She advanced and said, as nearly as I can 



recollect the words, " I Lave sent for you, Mr. Roebuck, so that 
I might be able to express to you personally my high appreciation 
of what you have said and done upon the late trying occasions. 
I consider your conduct to have been that of a true patriot, and I 
am glad to have this opportunity of expressing to yourself my 
approbation and thanks." 

I, upon this, expressed my sincere and warm thanks "or her 
Majesty's goodness, saying that I was amply rewarded for all that 
I suffered, and I had suffered, because of what I had done, and 
which had Avon her Majesty's approval. 

Her Majesty then beckoned to Prince Leopold, who shook 
hands with me. Then the Duke and myself retired. 


To his own family Mr. Roebuck expressed himself as 
much touched by the handsome manner in which her 
Majesty spoke to him on this occasion. 

At the Cutlers' feast of 1878 Mr. Roebuck was in his 
old form. Flattered by the uproarious welcome accorded 
to him, he flew at his opponents with glimpses of his 
accustomed vigour, tauntingly ridiculing those who sug- 
gested that he was "an old dog," toothless, and effete, 
and bound to retire. He reasserted his unchanging- 
integrity, and defended his public career, avowing that he 
had never bowed his neck to any party yoke. What he 
had bowed it to was the yoke of duty to England. That 
was what had guided him through life — the interests of 
his country. " I have not," he said, " sought in party 
politics my line of conduct, but I have looked forward and 
asked myself this question — Does this conduce to the 
honour and happiness of England? England," he con- 
tinued, " has been the sun by which I have guided my 
course." He saw at the head of affairs a gentleman, well 
worthy to guide the interests of the country, who, against 
all opposition and against mighty feelings of dislike and 
jealousy, would win the highest honour of the State. True, 
Lord Beaconsfield was a Conservative, but was he on that 
account to stand apart, bark at him, sneer at him, and 


k, so that 
iot, and 1 
urself my 

;s "or her 
)r all that 
done, and 

he shook 

!m.self as 
iiich her 

IS in his 
s of his 
i^ho sug- 
d effete, 
f that he 
What he 
I That 
srests of 
n party 
rard and 
3 to the 
he con- 
ided my 
lan, well 
, against 
ike and 
!. True, 
on that 
im, and 

write articles against him ? No ; he put the consideration 
aside. It mattered not to him that Lord Beaconsfield was 
at the head of the State; if he did rightly he would 
support him ; if he did wrongly, he would oppose him. 
" When," he declared, " I follow the interests of England, 
I follow the interests of the whole human race." The 
action of Russia in Turkey, ostensibly for the deliverance 
of the Christian, he treated in terms of scorn, exclaimino- : 

The poor Christian ! I want to know how Russia treated the 
poor Catholic ? Was the Catholic not a Christian in her mind ? 
She whipped tlic Catholic into the Greek church, and that she 
called Christianity. Now this was the Power that I was abused 
for not supporting-. I always said that I believed Russia was 
arrogant, unfair, unjust, and encroaching- upon everybody — that 
she sought her own interests and her own interests alone— that 
she was utterly unworthy of trust ; and that I thought him void 
of wisdom who trusted her, if there were not behind some private 
interests which made the man declare in favour of Russia, when 
he had passed his life in opposing her— some private interest which 
induced him to blow the trumpet in her favour when no man of 
ability, except under such circumstances, would trust her. 

He concluded by repeating that he thought only of his 
country. He was determined to lend the Administration 
all the powers he had, and they would meet the world 
with a united front. 

To a Sheffield Correspondent. 

It), Ashley Place, April 23, 1879. — I think you are anxious 
without cause. Public opinion will be governed by the result, 
not by the flourishes of wordy rhetoricians. You see that this 
morning's news proves the Government to have acted wisely and 
with energy ; and so you will find with respect to the Afghans and 
our policy in the East of Europe. My experience has taught me 
that it is unwise to trouble the constituency before an election, 
and you must remember that an election is not at hand. The 
Parliament will be kept alive as long the law allows, and address- 
ing the people only harasses them, troubles them, and puts them, 

, iliiPi 




in the result, out of humour with those who disturb them. 
r pray you, think this over, and do not allow yourself to be 
made anxious when there is no need for anxiety. If fortune 
favours the Government, if our arms are successful, if the 
position of England be prosperous when the General Election 
comes, the result will be in their favour ; if disaster happens, 
nothing can save them (that is, the present Government). So, 
I say, it all depends on the result. Such being my view, my 
advice is to be quiet, and let our opponents talk themselves 
hoarse. When the General lilection is imminent, then let us 
act — not before. 

Mr. Roebuck paid his last visit to ShefHeld in July, 
1879, when he opened the new asylum buildings of the 
local licensed victuallers' association. His extreme feeble- 
ness excited general remark, his voice being so weak that 
it was with difficulty he could be heard a few paces off. 
He alluded to the change that had taken place in public 
opinion during his career — 

I find myself now in company with persons allied in opinions 
to me, who I recollect, in the days of my youth, used to make 
a separate seat between me and them when we sat together in 
the House of Commons. But time, which conquers all things, 
has brought truth to the foremost, and these opinions which I, 
as a young man, upheld and boldly set forth in the House of 
Commons — very much to the scandal of many there — I find these 
opinions governing the country, and myself believed to be rather 
behindhand. People whom I recollect to be old-fashioned Tories 
now look upon me as something not altogether Radical. I am 
told that I am changed ; but I am not now other than I was 
before. It is not I who have changed ; it is they. Now, when 
we meet upon equal terms and upon equal beliefs, it is not I, 
surely, who should blush. My belief is the one now predominant. 
Theirs has gone — God knows where. 

That was Mr. Roebuck's creed to the last. From it he 
never swerved. It was his honest and conscientious belief 
that while much around him had changed and altered, the 


aims, the methods, and the principles of John Arthur 
Roebuck had, from first to last, been consistent in them- 
selves — harmonious parts of the scheme with which he 
started public life. And not even his severest critics were 
disposed to deprive him of that great consolation of his 
declining years. 

Mr, Roebuck's latest public utterance was a letter, 
dated November 21, 1879, to the Lord Mayor of London, 
read at the Mansion House, apologizing for absence from 
a meeting to promote a memorial to Sir Rowland Hill. He 
wrote : 

I take a great interest iu youi- efforts to mark the gratitude 
of the country to the late Sir Rowland Hill. He was a very 
old and much-esteemed friend of mine, and I believe few men 
have done so much as he for the good of his nation and his race. 
"With his great scheme I was early made acquainted. Indeed, I 
have a letter somewhere in Avhich his scheme is explained, with 
a request that I would not speak of it, as he was not ready to 
make it public " just yet." I say all this because my physical 
condition is such as to make me very unfit and very unwilling 
to attend a great public meeting. I hope, therefore, you will 
excuse my absence. I deem myself greatly honoured by your 
invitation, and nothing but absolute necessity keeps me away. 

Although, as has been seen, Mr. Roebuck was inclined, 
in the summer of 1878, when a dissolution was anticipated 
after Lord Beaconsfield's return from Berlin, to contemplate 
again offering himself for re-electiou at Sheffield, increasing 
infirmity led him, in the following year, to relinquish any 
such idea. 

Recognition of the necessity of retiring from public life 
seems, indeed, to have been forced upon him in January 
(1879). For in that month he wrote to his chairman, Mr. 
William Fisher, showing himself anxious to secure a 
successor in the representation of Sheffield, who would 
follow a course similar to his own. He described the kind 
of man that, in his opinion, the future member for Sheffield 


* I- 
i 5 ! 



lil I 




should be. " The object aimed at," he said, " was to obtain 
a large-minded man, whose view of the state of things at 
present was favourable to the Beaconsfield administration, 
but who would be guided in the future by his own in- 
dependent judgment." Mr. Roebucic held also " that he 
must be a good speaker ; if he had any past political life 
his course must prove him free from any partisan views — 
to be, in short, a real Liberal, beyond the influence of mere 
party, and guided only by what he believed to be the 
interests of England." In the same letter Mr. Roebuck 
said he found age growing too much for him ; and felt that 
he could not in future adequately perform the duties of a 
member of Parliament. ** As to what I say about myself," 
he added, " I must beg of you and my other friends to 
believe me when I say that I have come to the conclusion 
that I here speak of, very slowly and with great pain, and 
very reluctantly ; but if my friends think my aid absolutely 
necessary, I would, as far as possible, assist them ; but let 
them judge kindly of me, and remember that seventy-six 
years is no light weight." 

It was not until the summer of 1879 that Mr. Roebuck's 
lingering cleavings to Parliament were finally abandoned, 
and that he decisively decided not again to ask the con- 
stituency to retain him in his charge. This resolution was 
kept a secret from all but his most intimate friends. It 
was desired that the announcement should come from 
Mr. Roebuck's own lips. He intended to make his retiring 
speech an occasion for reviewing his whole career, and 
arrangements were being prepared with a view to have 
this valedictory ceremony in the January of 1880. 

To Willmm Fisher (Shfiffield). 

Ashley Place, November 21, 1879. — I agree with every word 
of your letter, and leave it entirely with my friends as to the 
time of the announcement. I always intended that it should be 
given in public meeting, on which occasion I proposed to give 



a summary of my political career. What, then, I would propose 
is as follows : (1) That my friends sliould settle upon what day 
the announcement should be made. (l>) That timely notice 
should be <,nven of a public meetin>r, called by myself, asking 
my constituents to meet mo, in order that T mi<,'ht address them 
in rej^ard of the comini,^ election. (;i) That the time and place 
us settled by my friends should be canvassed at the same time. 
So much for business. My health has slowly recovered from the 
effects of malaria, and amonj^st the most painful of which was 
a most trying depression of spirits, accompanied by a feeling of 
general malum— no special pain anywhere, but everywhere a sense 
of suffering. This has gradually worn off, and I am now, though 
weak, without pain, and with .. general feeling of comfort. " [ 
hope you will give me due notice of the time when I am expected 
at Sheffield. I shall, as usual, be attended by my two faithful 
guardians [Mrs. and Miss Roebuck], who, with myself, will, I 
hope, be able to face any weather that may happen. It is here 
now so dark with a snow-storm that I can hardly see to write. 

Mr. Fisher, in reply, cordially invited Mr. Roebuck and 
his "two faithful guardians" to make his house their 
home during the visit. Mr. Roebuck's acceptance of that 
invitation was the last missive received from him by any 
friend in Sheffield, and, indeed, was probably the last letter 
he ever wrote. It was dated November 25. On the 
evening of that day (Tuesday) he was present at the 
usual dinner of the Benchers of the Inner Temple. The 
night was a severe one, with very low temperature, and, 
having venturesomely gone without the warm fur coat he 
was accustomed to wear in wintry weather, he took cold. 
He lost his voice, and was troubled with a severe coup-h. 
Early on the morning of Thursday the 27th he had a 
choking fit, caused by failure of the heart's action. Sir 
William Gull was called in, and Mrs. Roebuck, writing on 
the 29th (Saturday), recorded the medical verdict that 
"" The lungs are safe, but he is very weak." Still, no serious 
results seem to have been apprehended, for Mrs. Roebuck 
added, " We have five weeks before the meeting, but from 





the severity of the attack, it will not be prudent to expose 
him to the winter's cold." 

Along with that letter there was delivered a telegi'am 
announcing that the end came at half-past one on Sunday 
morning, November 30. He had become alarmingly ill 
on the Saturday night. He suffered a great deal of pain, 
but in the last houi"s became easier, and he passed away 
peacefully. He was in the 78th year of his age. 

He was buried in the quiet churchyard of Bushey, 
Hertfordshire — where, for more than forty years, his 
brother-in-law, the Rev. William Falconer, M.A., had been 
rector — amid a large concourse of friends and admirers. 
The voice of criticism was hushed in the general sorrow, 
and tributes of respect laid upon his grave were tendered 
as heartily by his political antagonists as by his warmest 

h! \ 

( 367 ) 




Mr. Gladstone, who was at that time in the midst of his 
Midlothian campaign, made a noble return for the many 
invectives Mr. Roebuck had levelled at his character, hi.s 
statesmanship, and even his lionesty : — 

Mr. Roebuck was a raun of distinguished mental powers, and 
as a speaker, as a Parliamentary orator, he had not only many 
distinguished qualities, but he had some most valuable and telling 
qualities in a degree perhaps superior to almost any man, if not to 
any other man, of his generation. Mr. Roebuck, I need not say, 
was not in sympathy with me ; or, rather, I was not in sympathy 
with him. On the contrary, 1 have the misfortune to believe that 
I held a singularly low place in his estimation ; but, while recog- 
nizing those talents on the part of Mr. Roebuck which all the 
world admired, while aware of and lamenting the later course and 
colour of his political opinions, I wish to take this, the very first 
opportunity, of stating my full and firm belief that in his later, 
as well as in his earlier, career, Mr. Roebuck was governed from 
first to last by principles of integrity and of patriotism. I hope 
that the honour due to integrity will ever be done to him. That 
the particular form in which his patriotism developed itself should 
be imitated by others I must confess, with all due respect and 
sympathy, I do not desire. Now the grave has closed over a very 
able man ; and it will be good for us all that on this occasion we 
should exercise ourselves particularly— for of late years many of 
us have been vexed with the particular direction of his olitical 
course— we should exercise ourselves in yielding to him that tribute 
of respect which is always due to honesty of purpose. I, like Mr. 

; , 






lioc'lmck, have had wliat I do not hcsitato to call the misfortune, 
the necessity — the conscientious necessity — of (;hani,Mn,<,' the political 
connection in which I hegan my public career. We changed in 
very different directions. I nmst assume, and I do l)elicve, that 
]\Ir. Roebuck was well assured in his own mind of the soundness 
of the policy that of late he was supporting. I assure you that in 
that one particular of firm conviction, of absolute reliance — of 
strong reliance, I will say — upon the soundness of a certain policy, 
J do not yield to Mr. Roebuck, although, unhappily, the policy of 
which I approve is different. 

The press of all sections paid full tribute to Mr. 
Roebuck's great merit and unique personality. He was, it 
was said, essentially a critic, an Ishmaelite, " the zebra of 
politics," a good hater, but, most of all, a hater of hollow 
pretexts and a scorner of shams — a man of angles and 
peculiarities, uncomfortable to friends and dangerous to 

The newspaper which, in Sheffield, was chiefly respon- 
sible for Mr. Roebuck's rejection in 1868, and which 
continued in strong opposition to his public course to 
the end, wrote — 

Mr. Roebuck had his faults, but we prefer not to see them 
now. He made mistakes, but we wish to forget them at this 
moment. He offended many sensibilities, but they may be left to 
find their own consolation. What we desire most to keep in mind 
are the aspects in which Mr. Roebuck showed to the greatest 
advantage, the fields in which he best served the country of which 
he was so proud. The picture that first rises to the mind's eye at 
the mention of Mr. Roebuck's name is one which appeals strongly 
to English sympathies. It is the figure of that physically feeble 
being who, bent in body but aggressive in mind, delighted fear- 
lessly to confront odds that seemed overwhelming. The dauntless 
bearing of him who faced an angry constituency, and sent it away 
admiring and repentant, could not but or imand respect. The 
frail old man who quietly braved Mr. Campbell Foster's torrent of 
invective that memorable summer evening in Paradise Square, 
contrasted dramatically with the burly Boanerges who raged 


,u political 
livnf^cd ill 
lieve, that 
ou that in 
liancc — of 
ain policy, 
3 policy of 

to Ml', 
le was, it 
I zebra of 
of hollow 
igles and 
geious to 

ly respon- 

nd which 

course to 

a see them 
em at this 
y be left to 
ep in mind 
le f^reatest 
•y of which 
nd's eye ab 
ils stron^fly 
3ally feeble 

hted fear- 
e dauntless 
ent it away 
pect. The 

torrent of 
ise Square, 


who raged 

nq:aiiist him. ^Iv. Roebuck was always at his greatest when he 
played the part of Horatius — 

" Fiicini? friirfiil odds 
For tliu iislit'H of liis i'lttliers, 
And the templew of his gods ! " 

A very lar<,'e j)art of Shetlield's pride in 'S[v. Roebuck arose from 
the conviction that in him she possessed somethini,' unique. She 
had irot what no otlier constituency could rival. Otliors inijjjhL 
a])provc themselves in ]iafcient attention to necessary detail ; others 
miixlit excel in staLe^manlike prudence, in wise foresight, in the 
.1,'onius that builds up, and in half a hundred qualities that tlic 
member for Sheffield lacked — but still they were not Roebuck. 
His splendid self-(rontidence was unrivalled. His powers of 
destructive criticism were inimitable. J lis ctrotism was sublime. 
There was soinethinjf almost pathetic in the uiivp-erini,' faith with 
which he rej;arded liis country as England !•; the o:race of 
Roebuck ; and these two monopolized his field of vision. The 
manner iu which he put Roebuck first and ]'ii,i,darfl seeonr^ and 
the magniticencc with which he was apt to :ace all his oiintry's 
<,n'entpe s to a judicious obedience to the Roebuck! ,i behest, were 
characteristics which often j.roved irresistibly tempting to tlu; 
satirist and the scoffer. But they had tiieir ; !at in an intense; 
patriotism, and in an overpowering- intellectual imy)atience. Even 
now the pens which were ea,o;erest to snatch political capital out of 
the latter-day developments of Mr. Roebuck's fierce repudiation 
of the trammels of party, his restless frettings at the mere sight 
of those traces in wiiich he would never run, are (|uick to write 
down his life as a palpable failure, or to damn it with the question- 
able praise that one such man is abundantly sufficient. Admirable, 
we are told, as a Roebuck may be as a unit, this unapproachabh; 
entity is far too inimitable for a repetition to be tolerated ; and 
while we mourn a real loss, we may be thankful that this is the 
first and the last of the race. Such language it is not our 
intention to endorse. When we are told that Mr. Roebuck's 
career was a failure, we are fain to admit that it fell far short of 
the splendid possibilities that were open to the brilliant young 
disciple of Jeremy ]5eutham and of Joseph Hume ; but it gives us 
greater satisfaction to remember that Mr. Roebuck himself shared 
not iu that dreariest of all beliefs of hopeless failure now expressed 

2 B 





by his once admirers. He' was very far from thinking his life a 
failure. On the contrary, he was never tired of expressing the 
satisfaction with which he coutemplatod its well-rounded com- 
pleteness, and the joy its harmonious oneness, its symmetric 
consistency, afforded to him. It was no grief to Mr. Roebuck to 
find himself — to employ his own expression — "as he usually was, 
happily in a minority." On the contrary, he rather preferred it, 
for then he knew he was right. " I believe," he said, " taken as 
a whole, that my life has been a success." It may not, indeed, 
have been an ideal career in the estimation of the disciples of 
" sweetness and light." It was not a career to be imitated of 
those whose chief desire is to live in peace and charity with all 
men. Mr. Roebuck had scant patience with these. His notion 
of the duties of life took no accouut of euphemisms, or expedi- 
encies, or the veiling of opinions. He said what he thought in the 
sharpest, directest, most incisive words in the English language ; 
and since his thoughts seldom glowed with admiration for the 
greatness of friend or foe, they were apt to prove unpalatable. 
This nil admirari attitude of mind has many uses. It is wholesome 
for public men, and systems, and institutions to be exposed to 
the tonic blasts of keen criticism. 

The role of the candid friend or bitter foe was that for which 
nature intended Mr. Roebuck ; and there is no denying that he 
did the work better than it had been done since the days of Swift, 
better than it is likely to be done for many a long year to come. 

" Perfectly independent ? " said the Spectator. Yes — 

Thorns in the flesh are always independent of the organism ' 
in which they create so much disturbance ; and it is, in fact, their 
independence, quite as much as their sharpness, which creates the 
disturbance. Mr. Roebuck was, almost by essence, a thorn in 
the flesh of the party to which he nominally belonged. Whatever 
good he did in public life — and he did some very good things, 
especially in the earlier part of his career — he did by well 
establishing himself as a thorn in the tenderest region of his 
party's organization, and shifting about there freely, as that ^ 
party moved. It was as a thorn in the flesh of the Liberals that 
lie long ago exposed the scandals of our government of Canada. 
It was as a thorn in the flesh of the Liberals that he exposed the 
scandals of the administrative collapse in the Crimea. It was 

; his life u 
i-essing the 
aded coin- 
Hoebuck to 
sually was, 
referred it, 
, " takeu as 
Lot, indeed, 
disciples of 
imitated of 
ity with all 
His notion 
1, or expedi- 
)Ught in the 
h language ; 
tion for the 
is wliolesonie 
le exposed to 

lat for which 
ying that he 
ays of Swift, 
ir to come. 

r*. Yes — 

he organism ' 
in fact, their 
h creates the 

a thorn in 
good things, 
did by well 
•egion of his 
eely, as that 
Liberals that 
it of Canada. 

exposed the 
mea. It was 


as a thorn in the flesh of the Liberals that he denounced Lord 
Palmerston's tendency to fraternize with French Imperialism 
during the earlier years of liouia Napoleon's reijbne. We can 
well believe that Mr. Gladstone's administration from 18G9 to 
1874 would have been rather the better than the worse for such 
a thorn in the flesh, to remind it of its liability to the universal 
doom ; nay, that Mr. Roebuck's rejection for Sheffield in 18(58, 
though a very wise and loyal protest on the part of Sheffield 
against Mr. Roebuck's strange vagaries, was not ultimately 
advantageous to the Ministry which it numerically strengthened. 
For, certainly, if Mr. Roebuck ever served his country well, 
it was by giving voice to the irritation with which the country 
regarded certain errors of Liberal Governments. But even this 
function — a valuable one in its way— it cannot be doubted that 
Mr. Roebuck overdid. He believed so very much in " the 
contrary," he was so very sharp in his fault-finding with almost 
every attempt io carry out a Liberal policy, sometimes even when, 
as in the case of the disestablishment of the Irish Church, ho 
had been deeply pledged to the same policy himself in earlier 
life, that his warnings came without authority, and his invectives 
without force. Mr. Roebuck's Radicalism was, indeed, more 
of a constitutional, political irritability than of a constitutional 
sympathy with popular policy. He could not choose but be 
the " candid friend " of any party to which he belonged. And 
if he had ever joined the Tories formally, he would have been 
as serious a thorn in the side of Lord Beaconstield as he 
was, for the last twenty years, in the side of Lord Palmerston 
and Mr. Gladstone. It was his mission to scold allies, rather 
than to assail foes. The rather warm partisanship for capital, 
and hostility * to labour, which marked his speeches in all the 
struggles between capital and labour, was no doubt due to the 
feeling that, nominally at least, it was the labourer for whom 
he appeared. Perhaps his bitter attacks on the United States 
of America were due to the same feeling that they were a people 
of cousins, and that, as a relative and friend of the family, ho 
was bound to confess the disagreeable impressions made upon 
him. Possibly the same explanation may be given of his curious 
advocacy of the cause of Austria against that of Italy, as no 

* He had no hostility to labour— as labour— for ho realized clearly 
that labour and capital could not get on without one another. 


I'! i! 




I % 

doubt it may of the much more defensible and intelligible 
attack on Lord John liusscll for his Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, 
jiud of not a few of his raids against the "ribaldry" of the press. 
The cause of Italy, the cause of the Northern States, the cause 
of a free press, the cause of Protestantism, were probably all 
causes which, in his heart, Mr. Roebuck felt bound, by his 
principles, to advocate ; but for that very reason ho resented 
the bondage in which he found himself, and eagerly looked round 
for an excuse to pour forth his displeasure at certain aspects of 
these causes which fretted and oppressed him. The antagonistic 
currents of feeling in Mr. Roebuck were certainly excited more 
by faults in organizations to which he belonged than by faults 
in organizations to which he did not belong. There are men who 
are much more apt to imagine faults and blunders in any system 
for which they are responsible than in any system for which they 
are not responsible, and Mr. Roebuck was one of them. When 
the late Mr. Uadfield and he jointly represented Sheffield, they 
might have been termed the curds and whey of the Liberal 
party, Mr. Hadfield furnishing all the solid and nutritious 
elements of steady-going Liberalism, Mr. Roebuck all those whicli 
are of advantage cliiefly in case of a sudden attack of cold, when 
the Liberal party had need of such remedies as a hot and biting 
fluid, administered to an invalid with his feet in hot water, might 
provide. And yet Mr. Roebuck was not prone to find fault, 
or even suspect fault in England, though he was prone to find 
and suspect fault in the party which, for much the greater part 
of his political life, administered the government of England. 
The fault he most commonly found with that party was precisely 
this — that they did not always take for granted that the aggrandise- 
ment of England in the earth was the one chief end of political, 
diplomatic, and international effort. . . . Indeed, Sir. Roebuck, 
though he loved to pick holes in the party to which he regarded 
himself as belonging, and the Government entrusted by that 
party with power, never, apparently, dreamt for a moment 
that English power, if it were attained, might be indifferently 
used. . . . The more there was of English power, the better 
he was pleased, though with those who wielded English power 
he was seldom pleased at all. He seemed to be persuaded that, 
in the hands most likely to wield it, English influence would 
certainly be abused, and yet to desire earnestly to see it grow 


Titles Bill, 
>f the press. 
3, the cause 
probably all 
ind, by his 
he resented 
)oked round 
1 aspects of 
xcited more 
m by faults 
ire men who 
I any system 
which they 
lem. AVhen 
leffield, they 
the Liberal 
i nutritious 
those whicli 
: cold, when 
t and biting 
i-ater, might 
find fault, 
rone to find 
greater part 
of England, 
ras precisely 
! aggrandise- 
of political, 
'r. Roebuck, 
he regarded 
ted by that 
a moment 
the better 
glish power 
suaded that, 
lence would 
see it grow 

and swell. It was a very odd state of mind. ]\Ir. Roebuck was, 
indeed, u political misanthrope, who compensated himself for 
attacking almost all possible English Governments, by making 
an idol of England, steadily ignoring the fact that the Govern- 
ment which was pretty sure to be installed in England would 
be, in his opinion, cowardly, feeble, and bad. 

One who had enjoyed many opportunities of hearing 
Mr. Roebuck's speeches, wrote — 

Among the orators of the platform or of Parliament, there has 
been no man, within living memory, who possessed such a mastery 
of crisp, vigorous, nervous English. Hislsentences were perfect 
and pointed. Like a rapier, rather than a two-edged sword, they 
pierced to the heart of a question, and often and often has tLe 
telling accuracy of the thrust delighted his friends and thrown 
discouragement into the ranks of his enemies. Perhaps it was in 
the House of Commons that Mr. Roebuck's oratory was most 
telling in his best days ; for he had caught the House of Com- 
mons' tone, and that fastidious assembly appreciated both the 
shai-pness and the polish of his style. Even when his voice had 
to a large extent lost its power, his utterance was so distinct, his 
action so dignified, that, when he rose to address it, the House was 
hushed.* There was in him nothing of the garrulousness of age : 
his incisive style and epigrammatic energy seemed untouched by 
time. His speeches were rarely long, and in nothing superfluous. 
There was a classic grace about his eloquence that formed a 
remarkable contrast to the slip-shod utterances of less notable 
men. His speeches were always refreshing, for there was a certain 
crispness about them strongly in contrast with much of the 
Parliamentary eloquence of the day. Even the best oratory of 

* It was Roebuck's "perfect delivery" that most impressed so unfriendly 
a critic as Kinglake. "Placing unbounded confidence in bimself, and 
troubling his mind very little about any one else, he had a hardiness beyond 
other mortals, a compact and vigorous diction, that was good enough, yet not 
too good, for his purpose, and, above all, a matclilcss delivery which made 
up — much more than made up — for want of stature and voice ; because it 
mode him seem like one filled witli a sense of his inoflUblo iwwer " (" luvasion 
of the Crimea," vol. vi. p. S.")?). Kinglake admits t Roebuck " had tho 
ear — the rapt ear "of the House, although ho attri» s the welcome ever 
given to "an accomplished denouncer who was sure to Uu vicious and brief," 
to anticipations of mischief and amusement. 





onr time runs into a wordy dilTuscncss, and from this error Mr. 
Roebuck wus singularly free. 

The Daily News once said — 

He was probably the best example that our generation has 
known of sinijily good speaking — speaking which, if it does not 
rise to the height of oratory, never sinks into slovenly chatter, 
or semi-articulate growling, nor adorns itself with the false glitter 
of declamatory rhetoric. The shape and the substance were 
admirably suited to each other. Mr. Roebuck's speech was 
simply his thought and feeling made audible — often it reflected 
the thought and feeling of others who were too prudent to give 
them expression. The words in which he clothed his meaning 
were just the words in which he made it distinct to himself. For 
this reason he was a pointed speaker, without being a witty one, 
and, without being imaginative, he had a sufficient faculty of 
illustration to aid clear statement and exposition. For this 
reason also, he was always a short speaker. He never acquired, 
because he never had any necessity for, the dangerous gift of 
amplification. Qualification and parenthesis, and copiousness 
of epithet, and all the verbiage which makes sentences involved 
and speeches long, arc usually the result of inability to choose 
the few suitable words which would have done promptly all the 
business for which the posse comitahis of ill-drilled and straggling 
phrases is called out. The inability to choose the right words, 
and the consequent necessity of enlisting five times as many as 
are necessary, is the result of indistinct and confused thinking. 
Mr. Roebuck never wasted words, and he was therefore always 
able to find a suitable provision for them when necessary. Mr. 
Roebuck was above all things a distinct and precise speaker. 
This gift was, no doubt, due in part to the natural character of 
his mind, but also in a great degree to his training as a disciple 
in that school of thought in which Bentham, and John Austin, 
and James Mill were masters, and which was cultivated in the 
Socratic dialogues of which Mr. Grote's room in Threadneedle 
Street was the scene, whence proceeded some of the most valuable 
speculations and researches of the time. If Mr. Roebuck escaped 
the peculiar vices of slovenly thought and language, which are 
the besetting danger of Parliamentary debate, his deliverance 
may in no slight degree be attributed to the delicate weighing 


error Mr. 

jration has 
it docs not 
ily chatter, 
false flutter 
tance were 
speech was 
it reflected 
jnt to give 
is meaning 
nsclf. For 
I witty one, 

faculty of 
For this 
ir acquired, 
ous gift of 
es involved 
j^ to choose 
ptly all the 
1 straggling 
ight words, 
as many as 
d thinking, 
fore always 
ssary. Mr. 
se speaker, 
character of 
iS a disciple 
ohn Austin, 
ited in the 
ost valuable 
uck escaped 
, which are 

be weighing 

of ideas and the precise use of words to which he was trained by 
liis philosophical associates. 

In private life Mi-. Roebuck did not readily unbend to 
comparative strangers. His courtesy to mere acquaintances, 
though perfect, Avas somewhat cold and distant. Yet any- 
one who came to him with an honest desire for information 
was never snubbed or laughed at ; however trivial th(i 
question might appear, the answer was given with pains- 
taking care and kindness. And to his intimates, and in the 
domestic circle, he was a model of gentleness and kindness. 
His tone so quiet ; his manner of such an almost silken 
softness, that he seemed one of the mildest of mortals, as he 
was one of the most charming, instructive, and delightful 
of companions. 

s > '1 







Abiieville, 136 

Aberdeen, Lord, Ministry, 256 ; resigns, 

Aborigines, extermination of, 248, 253, 

300, 301 
Adderley, Sir C. B., '^38 
Addington (Speaker), 195 
Afghan war, 73 n. ; retreat from Cabul, 

142 M. ; Roebuck's motion on, 147, 

148, 179; (1878), 357, 361 
Agnew, Sir A., 57, 97, 101 
Albemarle, Lord, 165, 170, 250 
Alexandria, 132 

Allott, Alfred, (Sheffield), 339, 340, 342 
Althori), Lord, 60, 62, 64. See Spencer, 

Annerslev, Col., 34 
Anstey, T. Chisholm, (Youghal), 225, 

Anti-Corn-Law League. See Corn 

Anti-Papal cries, 208, 246, 247, 372 
Apponyi, Count, 286 
Armaments, reduction of, 248 ; and 

arbitration, 265 
Arnott, Mr., 231 
Arran, Lord, 159-161 
Ashburnham, Dr., 205 
Ashburton Treaty, the, 135 n. 
Ashley, Lord, 151, 152, 174, 179, 181, 

182, 185, 186, 188, 235, 244, 283, 

285. See Shaftesbury. 
Ashley Arnewood, 155, 165, 166, 188, 

200, 201, 203, 204, 236, 243, 247, 

249, 255, 257 
Ashton-under-Lyne, 136 

Auckland, Lord, 148, 152, 179 

Augusta (Canada), 6, 14, 10 

Austin, Alfred, 106 

Austin, Charles, 32, 104, 100 

Austin, John, 374 

Australia. See Colonies, 

Austria, in Italy, 204, 290, 291, 292, 
294; constitutional government in, 
285, 293, 371; English alliance with, 
286 ; V. Prussia, 287, 298 

Austria, Emperor of, 285, 291 


Baillie, H, J., Inverness, 248 

Baines, Sir Edward, 108, 207, 208 

Ballot, the, 44, 53, 74, 225, 233, 249, 
253, 338 

Bankruptcy Laws, 223, 225 

Barber, prosecution of, 57 

Barber, J, H., (Sheffield), 301 

Barron, Simon, 42 n. 

Barry, Sir Charles, 52 

Bath, Roebuck's candidature (1832), 
31, 42 ; election, 48, 49 ; (1835), 60 ; 
dinners at, 72,88, 89; defeat (1837), 
99, 100; address, 127; election 
(1841), 137, 138; petition against 
Corn Laws, etc, 138 ; meeting, 140 ; 
Anti-Corn Laws, 145 ; education, 57, 
148, 341 ; defeat (1847), 175-177, 
181, 182, 185, 328; thanks Roe- 
buck, 261, 283. 

Bath Chronicle, 42 n. 

Bath Education Society, 57, 341 

Bath Journal, Keene's, 168 

Bath Working Men's Association, 126 


I \ \ 





Bcitliwick church, 180 

Beaconsfielil, Lord. See Disraeli, Bul- 
giU'iaa massacres, 349 ; Eastern 
l)oiicy, 35(3, ;!57, 360, 36! ; makes 
Roebuck privy councillor, 358, 359 ; 
return from Berliu, 363, 371 

Beaufort, 26 

Beauharnois, Canal, 147 

Beckwith, Sir Sydney, 14 

Bedingfield, Lady, 165 

Beer, Act, 57 ; Sunday Sale of, 295 

Belgium, people, politicians, society, 
and climate, 157, 163, 164, 202; 
King Leopold, 157, 158, 159, 160, 
163, 165, 201, 202; church music, 
157, 158; queen of, 159, 160, Legis- 
lative Chamber, 158-160 ; tariff war 
with Holland, 164, 165 

Bentham, Jeremy, 25, 27, 28, 37, 217, 
308, 369, 374 

Bentinck, Lord George, 167, 170, 171, 

172, 181, 182 

Berkeley, Captain, 199, 228, 229; 
admiral, 232 

Berkeley, Charlotte, Lady, 232 

Berkeley, F. H. F., 249 

Berkeley, Grantley, 228 

Bernal, Kalph, 78 

Bishop of New Zealand, 263 

Bishops' Retirement Bill, 262, 263 

Black, John, duel with Roebuck, 190- 

Black, J. R., of Kentucky, 106 

Black, Dr. R., 82, 153, 200, 201, 203 

Blake, Jliss, artist, 254 

Blanc, Louis, 205, 206 

Bleaching and dye works, 283 

Blessington, Lady, 135 

Bolton, 290 

Booth, A., (Sheffield), 265 

Boscawen, Mrs. Anne, 3, 4 

Boyle, Cavendish, 154 

Bradford -on-A von, 212, 213 

Bratiano, Demetrius, 270 

Brazil, 267 

Bright, John, 179; pugnacious, 223- 
230, 232, 241 ; defeated at Man- 
chester, 266 ; American war, 296, 

Broadhead, William, 326 

Brooks, Shirley, 250 

Brotherton, Mr., 154 

Brougham, Lord, 64, 80, 103, 103 «., 
104, 106, 110, 114, 122, 140, 170, 

173, 204 ; on Palmerston, 147 ; on 
Roebuck, 148, 152-181; on Count 
D'Orsay, 150; Roebuck's history, 
156, 204, 215, 216, 218, 245, 247, 

248, 251 ; rumour as to joining 
Peel's cabinet, 162; fears the mob, 
208 ; early photograph of, 215 ; his 
character, 216 n. ; in Paris, 239; 
talks of visiting America, 242; ^.ord 
Grey, 245,247 ; on Roumania, 2". n. ; 
portrait and death, 348 

Brown, Sir John, (Sheffield), 297, 305, 
311, 358 

Brown, Wilson, 175, 186 

Browne, R. D., (Mayo), 228 

Bruce, H. A., (afterwards Lord Aber- 
dare), 264 

Bruges, H. Ludlow, 99, 137 

Brussels. See Belgium- 
Bulgarian massacres, 349 

Bulier, Charles, 76, 115, 173; death 
of, 210, 211, 215 

Bulier, Mrs. Charles, 38, 215 

Biirilett, Sir Francis, 50 

Burdett-Coutts, Miss, 205 

Burials Bill, 347 

Burke, Edmund, 67 

Burv, wealth of, 211 

Bushv, Herts, 247, 254, 311, 366 

Butt," Isaac, 196 n., 264, 345 

Byng, George, 85, 89, 90, 103 

Byng, G. S., 250 


Caguari case, 270 

Cairns, Lord Chancellor, 359 

Cambridge, Duke of, 260 

Campbell, Colonel, 190 

Campbell, Sir John, (Lord Chancellor), 

Canada, 3, 11, 14-24; climate of, 16; 
settlers in, 21, 22; grievances of, 
62, 66, 67, 70, 72, 80, 96, 107, 370 ; 
rebellion of, 108, 232 n. ; Bill for 
Suspension of Constitution of, 109- 
112; case pleaded before the Com- 
mons, 109, — and Lords, 113, 114; 
independence, 115; convicts from, 
115, 121, 122; Corn Bill, 141; 
Montcalm's defeat, 142 ; Indemnity 
Bill and riots, 224-227 ; confede- 
ration of, 263 

Canning, Lord, and Oude proclamation, 

Canvassing, 44, 63, 185 

Capital and labour, 220, 315, 371 

C -dwell, Lord, 236, 237, 245, 250 

Cii.lile, Richard, 57 

Carlyle, Thomas, 136 

Carrel, Armand, 106 

to joining 
's the mob, 
)f, 215; his 
Paris, 239; 
, 242 ; T,ord 
tnia, 2'. n. ; 

), 297, 305, 

Lord Aber- 

173; denth 




late of, 16 ; 
evances of, 
1, 107, 370 ; 
t. ; Bill for 
on of, 109- 
e the Com- 
113, 114; 
ivicts from. 
Bill, 141; 
; Indemnity 
7 ; confede- 


5, 371 
:45, 250 



Carron Iron Works, 2, 47 

Castle Howard, 245 

Castlereagh, Lord, 218 

Cavaignac, Godefroy, lOG 

Cecil, Lord Robert, (afterwnrdsSIarquis 

of Salisbury), 264 n. 
"Cecil," Mrs. Gore's, 135 
Ceylon, allairs of, 232, 247, 248 
Challenges. See Duelling. 
Chamberlain, .Joseph, 33U, 340, 342 
Chandler, Kev., 141 
Chapman, H. S., 61, 75, 76, 192 n. 
Charles XIL, Voltaire's historv of, 130 
Charter, The People's, 125, 12(5, 133 
Chartist Association, 133; almanack, 

133; press, 126 
Chartists, 133, 134 ; petition, 142, 195 ; 
and Corn Laws, 145, 146; and 
suffrage, 203, 219 
Children's books, 59, 186 
China, policy towards, 120; Lorcha 

war, 264, 265 
Christchurch, under the Reform Act, 

3.3,34; 155, 191, 192, 193 
Chronicle, The, 60, 94, 104, 190 
Chronicle, The Weekly, 109, 111 
Church of England, disestablishment 
and disendowment, 44, 56, 123, 183, 
184, 343 ; ritualism, 346, 347, 372 
Clarendon, Lord, 251 
Clark, T., chartist, 219 
Clemson, Americiin minister at 

Brussels, 165 
Clifford, Sir Augustus, 114 
Clyde, the, 12, il8 
Cobbett, William, 61, 62 
Cobden, Richard, Corn Law agitation, 
145, 146, 179; retrenchment, 213; 
his party, 221 ; foreign debtors, 
223, 230 ; deceased wife's sister, 
234; peace, 241, 248; China War, 
264, 265, and arbitration, 265; de- 
feated at Huddersfield, 266 
Cochrane, Baillie, 227 
Cockburn, Lord Chief Justice, 332 
Cohen, Mr., 169 
Coldbath Fields fray, 50 
Coleridge, Lord Chief Justice, 348 
Colonial policy, 225; Australian, 231, 
232, 234, 237-239, 270; Hudson's 
Bay, 263, 271 
"Colonies of England," Roebuck's book 

on, 200, 222, 225 
Columbia river, 135 
Commons, House of. See Parliament. 
Compton, Henry, (S. Hants), 234 
Coningham, W., (Brighton), 306 
'Conservative party, a new, 213 

Constitutional, The, 94 

"Corinne," 141 

Corn Law League, 140, 167, 170 

Corn Laws, 68, 123, Hi", 138, 139, 141, 

145, 146, 147; repeal, 161, 167, 

170, 176; fixod duty, 231 ; repealed, 

240 ; duty, 252 
Corrupt practices. See Elections. 
CosnH)grai)hy, a seaman's, 12 
Cottenhani, Lord, 114 
County Courts Extension Bill, 239 
Crimean War, 258, 250 ; inquiry into 

conduct of, 258, 259, 260-262, 370 
Cross, piiilosopher, 229 
Crowder, R. lUidden, 211 
"Crown and Anchor," Westminster, 

meeting at, 108 


Daily Xews, 374 

Daly, Father, (Galway), 273, 289 

Danubiau Principalities, 270 

D'Aremberg, Due, 159 

Darrell, Captain, 108 

Daubeney, Colonel, 66 

Deceased Wife's Sister's Bill, 234, 235 

Dehauranne, Duvergier, 250 

Delane, Mr., 241 

Dender Valley railway, 202 

Denison, E. Beckett, 206, 208 

Denison, J. Evelyn,(after wards Speaker), 

Denison, Sir W., Governor of Van 
Diemen's Land, 230 

Denman, Lord Chief Justice, 69, 150 

Denmark and Prussia, 299 

Dennistoun, Alexander, 116, 117 

Derby, Lord, (see also Stanley), 251 ; 
Prime Minister, 252 ; defeated (1852), 
256 ; second ministry, 270 ; and re- 
form, 276, 270, 280, 310, 312, 313 ; 
and "Galway Job," 279 

Derwent, The, 136 

" Dictionary of National Biography," 
9, 218 n. 

Dilke, Sir Charles, 354 

Dillwyn, L. L. (Swansea), 354 

Disabilities, civil and religious, 44 

Disraeli, Benjamin, 26 n. ; attacks Peel, 
156, 107, 1()8 ; on Ireland, 170 ; on 
navigation laws, 170 ; and dwelling, 
197, 198 ; compliments Roebuck, 
226, 238; on Canada, 227; and 
Protectionists, 238, 247 ; on foreign 
policy, 242 ; Gladstone, 244 ; on 
Ceylon, 247 ; redistribution, 253, 

! , 

', I 

! -'I 
i ■ 

I ! 


, : 




A ^1 



314, 315; China War, 264 ; India, 

270; Reform Bill, 276, 310, ;U'-', 

321, 337 ; Schleswijf-Holstein, 299 
Dissenters, 68, 100, 183, 184, 187, 206, 

208, 212, 213 
Dorchester labourers, 67 
Dodson, Sir John, 243 
Dodworth, J., (ShefTield), 337 
D'Orsay, Count, 135, 150 
Drummond, H. H., (Perthshire), 230 
Dublin, protection of citizens, 180 
Duelling, 49, 79, 82, 189-199 
Dulwich, Crete's house nt, 70, 71 
Duncan, Lord, (Bath), 137, 138, 140, 

145, 155, 175, 176, 181-183, 186 
Duncombe, Thomas, 143, 156, 181 
Dundas, David, 234, 235, 242 
Dunkellin, Lord, 310 
Dunn, Thomas, (Sheffield), 249, 251, 

253, 303 
Durham, Bishop of, 246 
Durham, Lord, 121, 122 
Duties on corn. See Corn Laws. 
Duties on spirits, 248 
Duties on sugar and timber, 137, 139, 

Dyke, Sir W. Hart, 358 


Eardley, Sir Culling, 206, 208, 212 

Ecclesiastical Titles Bill, 246, 247, 372 

Eddison, Mr., (Leeds), 235, 236 

Edinburgh, 130, 219 

Edinburgh Review, 130 

Education, national, 56, 57, 62, 66, 

184, 341, 342 ; Graham's Bill, 148 ; 

Russell's plan, 173-176, 262; Fox's 

Bill, 237 ; and the suffrage, 299 ; 

Forster's Bill, 331 
Edwards, Geo., (Bath), 221 
Eglintou, Lord, 273 
Elections, corrupt practices at, 96, 

143-145, 196, 248, 272 
Elgin, Lord, mobbed in Montreal, 224, 

EUenborough, Lord, thanks to, 147; 

annexation of Scinde, 151, 152, 179 ; 

censure on Canning, 271 
EUice, Edward, 232, 247, 250, 251 
EUiotson, Dr., 79, 231 
Emigrants, manners of Highland, 12, 13 
Emigration in 1815,11; discouraged, 

England, self-government for, 96, 210 ; 

an example to the world, 209 ; her 

strength makes for peace, 256, 325, 

330 ; her duty to India, 271 ; foreigu 
hatred of, 253, 288 ; alliance with 
Austria, 285-289, 290, 298, 371 ; 
relations with United States, 28L; 
for the English, :i44; her interests 
the interests of the whole world, 
360, 361, 369, 372 

England, J., (Sheffield), 316 

Erie, Chief Justice, 315, 318 

Escott, Bi(;khiim,i(Winchester),106, 229 

" Evelina," 141 

Ewart, W., 102 

Examimr, The, 190 

Expenditure, extravagant, 123 

Factory and Education Bill (Graham's), 

148, 152 ; Ashley's, 283, 285 
Factory life in Glasgow, 117, 119, 121 ; 

in Leeds, 235 ; in bleaching and dye 

works, 283, 284 
Fairbairn, Sir Peter, 206, 209-211, 254 
Falconer, Alexander P., 45, 118 
Falconer, Henrietta. Mee Roebuck, Mrs. 

J. A. 
Falconer, Dr. R. W., 255 
Falconer, Thomas, 7 n., 31, 61, 106, 

1 14, 204, 225, 334 
Falconer, Rev. Dr. Thomas, 31, 113, 194 
Falconer, Rev. William, 106, 254, 311, 

Falkirk, 248 
Fearon, 202 

Fenton, Colonel, (Sheffield), 221 
Fenton, Rev. Mr., (Norton), 221 
Fergusson, Sir William, 310, 311 
Ferrand, W. B., 154, 174, 196-198 
Fielding, Copley, 116, 210 
Finality, Lord John Russell's, 123 
Finsbury, dinner, 94 ; representation 

of, 201 
Fisher, William, (Sheffield), 220, 246 
Fisher, William, Jun., (Sheffield), 261, 

266, 280, 304, 305, 310, 313, 330, 

335, 356, 363-365 
Fitzroy, Captain, 144 
Fitzrov, Hon. H., 194 
Fitz William, Hon. C, 206, 207 
Fleets, at Spithead,256; at Cherbourg, 

272; at Portsmouth, 309 
Fleming, Dr., 210 
Flogging by magistrates, 237, 238 
Fonblanque, Albany, 190 
Foreign policy, 131, 229, 267, 270, 

299, 300, 333, 349, 350-352, 357, 

361 ; debts, 223, 225 

271 ; foreign 
lliaace witti 
2W, 371 ; 
States, 281; 
ler interests 
hole world, 





', 119,121; 

ng aad dye 

•9-211, 254: 
ebuck, Mrs. 

I, 61, lOG, 

, 254, 311, 


1, 123 

220, 24G 
ield), 2GI, 
313, 330, 



267, 270, 
352, 357, 



Foresters' banquet, 339 

Forster, Churlus, (Walsall), 277 

Forster, W. K., 3:31 

Foster, Campbell, 303-305, 308 

F'oster, U. l>lake, 48 

Fox, C J., 55 

Fox, H. JI., (Longford), 199, 228, 229 

Fox, W. J., (Oldliam), 230, 237 n. 

France, policy towards, 131, 132; in 
Italy, 204; attacks Uonie, 'J29, 231, 
291 ; alarming state of, 235, 230 ; 
armaments, 248; jealousy of Enijland, 
253 ; Orsini conspiracy, 1269 ; Cher- 
bourg a standing meiiace, 272, 275 ; 
commercial treaty, 283 ; annexation 
of Savoy, 283, 2'JO; American war, 
296 ; German war, 333, 335 

Freemason's Tavern, debating society, 

Free trade, 44, 169. Sco also Corn 
Laws, Tariti' Keform, etc. 

Frystoue, 136 


Gaixsford, R. J., (SheflRel.l), 291, 293 

Galway, speeches at, 177, 272, 273 

Gahvay Packet Company, 272, 274, 
289, 290, 294 

Garibaldi, 290 

Gascoigne, General, 208 

Gaskill, Daniel, 70, 102 

Germany, alliance with, 202. Sco 

Gibson, Milner, 230, 237 n. 

Gibson (sculptor), 237 

Gilchrist, Dr., 48 

Girardin, M., 106 

Gladstone, \V. E., 141, 227 ; and colo- 
nies, 232, 238, 239 n. ; and Disraeli, 
244, 253 ; China War, 264 ; Danu- 
bian principalities, 270 ; and Roe- 
buck, 271, 367, 371 ; reform, 310- 
312; Irish Church, 318-320, 331, 
332, 337 ; Bulgarian massacres, 349, 
350, 353 

Glasgow, representation of, 115-124; 
description of, in 1839, 117 ; factory 
life in, 117, 119, 121 ; press of, 122 

Glenelg, Lord, 84, 114 

Glossop, 126 

Glover's " Leonidas," 9 

Goldsmid, N., 190 

Gordon, Duchess of, 114 

Gordon, Lady Duff, 210, 215 

Gore's " Cecil," 135 

Gorst, Sir John, 354 

Oosford, Lord, 72 

(Joiigh, Lord, 213 

Graham, G. J., 27, 29, 38, 40, 157, 
180, 249, 350 

Grnham, Sir James, 56, 129 ; Factorv 
Bills, 148, 152, 153; Ferrand's 
charges against, 154, 196; tamper- 
ing with letters, 156, 160, 182; 
Ireland, 224; the colonies, 226, 227, 
232, 238, 239; and the Feelites, 
240; Jilaying for leadership, 241; 
and Roebuck's liistory, 250 ; reform, 

Granville, Lady, 250 

Granville, Lord, 335 

Grattau, H., (Meath), 268 

Greece, throne of, 152 n. ; Pacifico dis- 
pute, 24U-242 

GrenfuU, C. P., (Preston), 250 

Greville memoirs, 64 

Grey, Sir Georj/e, 174, 278 

Grey, Lord, (2nd Earl), 62, 64, 88, 208 ; 
and brougham, 24.'), 247 ; corre- 
spondence with Williani IV., 247 

Grey, Lord, (3rd Enrl), 162, 173, 230, 
234,237,238. &t' Howick, Lord. . 

Grisi, 230 

Grote, George, puzzled, 26 n. ; his house, 
29 ; Roebuck's propertv qualilication, 
50; the ballot, 53, 87; Roebuck's 
speech, 56; Political Knowledge So- 
ciety and Pami)hiets, 59, 61, 76, 77 ; 
residence at Dulwich, 70, 71 ; his 
eclipse, 88; speech at B^irtlemy Fair 
Show, 90 ; sea' threatened, 102 ; on 
Canada, 109, 110 ; F. Place on, 111, 
113, 374 

Grote, Mrs., 29 ; F. Place on, 87 ; 
jealous for Grote, 88 ; mortification 
of, 90 ; on electoral losses, 102 ; 
correspondence with F. Place, 105; 
quarrels with Roebuck, 113; on 
Roebuck as Radical leader, 127 

Gudin, artist, 298 

Guernsey, 73, 154 

Gull, Sir William, 365 

Gully, Dr., Malvern, 256, 310 

Gurney, Mr., 114 


Hadfield, George, (Sheffield), 253, 
255, 264-266, 279, 303, 304, 320. 
321, 325, 337, 372 

Hallam, Henry, 213 

Hamilton, General, 106 

Hanmer, Sir John, 67 





. >: 

Hnnlin?, Mr,, 1.10 

HnrtluM, Mr., '11 

Harrison, Kn.'Jeric, 318 

Harrison, .Saimu'l, lU'J 

Hnrtington, Mnr(|ui.i of, (Duko of 

DevoiiKiiire), '.'80, ;J52, 357 
Harvey, D. VV., 1)4, O.") 
Harwich, corruption at, 14.") 
Hawes, Sir «., 180, 210, '-'->.-), 235, 263 
Haytur, Sir W. G„ (Wolis), 235 
Health of Towns Hill, 181 

Heatou, Mr., (, 23,j, 230 


Herbert, Siilnev, (afterwards 
Herbert of Lea'), 227 

Hetherington's JJesjMtch, 82 

Hill, Marcus, 182 

Hill, Matthew Davenport, 228 

Hill, Sir Howliind, 363 

Hobhouse, H. W., 42, 43, 48, 49, 66, 145 

Hobhouse, .1. C, 84, 104 ; and Js'ottiug- 
hani, 145 

Hogg, J. W., 154, 197 

Holyoalce, G. J., 27 n., 125 «., 126 

Hoo<l, Thomas, 7 n. 

Houghton, Lord, 106, 136 

House and window tax, 56 

Howe, Mr., 121 

Howick, Lord, 147, 156. See Grey, 
3rd Earl. 

Hudson, George, 226 

Hudson's Bay Company, 263, 271 

Hume, Joseph, introduces Roebuck to 
Bath, 30, 31 n., 42, 369 ; on pensions, 
56 ; political knowledge society, 59 ; 
pamphlets, 61, 76; preaches mild- 
ness, 72; on House of Lords, 73; 
Radical dissatisfaction with, 80, 81, 
83, 85-90, 93, 94, 102-104; and 
Montrose, 142 ; on Portugal, 181 ; 
challenged by Peel, 195 ; and Fer- 
rand, 197, 203, 230; on Eastern 
policy, 232 ; on property tax, 248 

Hungary, 231, 293 

Hunt, William, 72 

Hutt, W., 102 


IBDITT, William (Sheffield), 299 
Imperial Titles Bill, 348 
Import duties, Peel's reduction of, 167 
Income tax, 139, 140; for Ireland, 155, 

169, 171, 172 
India (see also Afghan, Scinde), 213; 

law of Bengal, 240; transferred to 

the Crown, 270; Oude confiscation, 


Inns of Court monopoly, 44 

Ireland, right of self-government, 9<5 ; 
O'Connuil's policy, 149, l.V); dis- 
contents, 150,330; repeal, 150, 177, 
178; condition of, 151, — in 1847, 
109, 171,— in 1875,348; income tax, 
155, 109, 172; Maynooth grant, 150; 
Devon Commission, 109; Potato 
blight, 220 ; scramble for English 
money, 224 n. ; abolition of lord- 
lieutenancy, 207, 208 ; true union, 
273, 274 ; Home Rule, 293, 345, .340 ; 
real cause of troubles in, 300, .145 ; 
their cure, 273, 274, 300, 345; 
Fenian conspiracy, 309 

Irish Church, 58, 64, 60, 149, 150, 318- 

clergy (R.C.), 345 

Coercion Bills, 54, 55, 64, 80, 149. 

107-169, 177, 347 

landlords, 169, 171, 178, 224 n., 

318; Land Improvement and Drain- 
age Bill, 224 ; Land Act (1871), 335 

— — municipal corporations, 78, 83, 

Parliamentary Voters' Bill, 234 

Poor Law, 109, 171, 172, 170, 178 

railways, loans to, 171, 172, 181, 


Registration Bill, 129, 134 

State Prisoners and Transpor- 
tation for Treason Bill, 228 

Sunday Closing Bill, 349 

Tithe Bill, 79 

in America, 281, 322 

Italy, King of, 290 

Italian unity, 204, 279, 290-294, 301 

James, Sir Henry, (afterwards Lord 

James), 353, 354 
Jay, Rev. William, 185, 186 
Jerrold, Douglas, 172 
Jessop, Thomas, (Sheffield), 340 
Jewish disabilities, 220, 233 
Jocelyn, Lord, 195 
Johnson, Dr., 141 
Johnson, Reverdy, 321, 322 
Justice, administration of, 44 


Kaffirs, treatment of, 248, 253 
Kean, Charles, actor, 4, 5 
Kearsley, J. H., (Wigan), 98 

y Tl 



•nment, 90 ; 

ISO; tlis- 
il, 150, 177, 
—in 1847, 

iacomu tax, 

grant, 1 5t> ; 
la ; Potato 
for English 
)n of lord- 
true union, 
3, 345, ;»4(5 ; 
1, ;ioo, :i45 ; 

300, 345; 

D, 150, 318- 

64, 80, 149, 

178, 224 n., 
b anil Drain- 
(1871), 335 
ms, 78, 80, 

1' Bill, 234 
72, 176, 178 
1, 172, 181, 

\ 134 

\ Transpor- 

)-294, 301 

vards Lord 




Kemble, Charles and John, actors, 5 
Kenniuu, Mis!<, artist, 254 
Keogh, W., (Athlone), 238 
Ke|)|i«i. Sec Ailjern\arle, Lord. 
Kilmarnouk, repri'sontation of, 1 17, 118 
King, 1*. J. Loclu', (Surrey), 247, 2+8 
Kinglake's "Crimean War," I'JG n,, 

260 n., 373 n. 
Knowles, Sir P'rancis, 190 
Kossuth, Louis, 279 


Laiiouciikke, H., (afterwards Lord 

Taunton), 141, 2G3, 278 
Laing, S., 314 
Lancashire, South, representation ol', 

Langside Hill, 120 
Laocoon, the, 159 
Larceny Jurisdiction Bill, 237 
Law, Recorder, 7 n., 57 

reform, 262 

Lawless, C. J.. rClonmel), 228 
Lawton, Johr <, S leliield), 339 
Layard, A. H., '58, 264, 265 
Leader, John Temple, M.P. for Bridge- 
water and Westminster, 50, 76, 86, 
88, 94, 103; his Putney Hill gather- 
ings, 106 ; on Camul.i, 107, 108 ; on 
Roebucii's pugnacitv, 189 
Leader, Robert, (Shetliehl), 297, 301, 320 
Leeds, 127, 128, 130, 133,206,207, 211, 

Leeds Afercitri/, 108, 207, 208, 213 
Leeds Tiiacs, 131 

Lefevre, Speaker, 228, 229, 234, 248 
Lesseps, M. de, 2()1 

Letters from J. Temple Leader to the 
Editor, 50, 106, 189; from Francis 
Place to Joseph Hume, 85, 89, — to 
Joseph Parkes, 90, 1 10,— to Mrs. 
Grote, 102, 105,— to John Travers, 
105,— to S. Harrison, 109,— to E. 
Baines, Jun., 109, — to Erskine Perry, 
125. To Place, from H. S. Chapman, 
75,— Joseph Hume, 76, 86, 88,— 
Perronet Thompson, 89, — J. S. Mill, 
94, — E. Baines, 108, — Joseph Parkes, 
110,— Mrs. Grote, 90, 102, 127. 
From Mrs, Roebuck to Dr. Falconer, 
113, — to an unnamed correspondent, 
193,— to Dr. R. Black, 200 

from Roebuck to F. Place, 33, 

81, 86, 104, 112, 212, 214, 216; to 
A. P. Falconer, 45 ; to unnamed 
correspondents, 47, 281, 314, 328, 

334, 336, 337, 347, 35i», 361 j to 
'I'liit's Maiiiiiinc, 52, 58, 65, 95 ; to 

Mrs. Roc'lMitk, 70, 72, 88, lit!- 
123, 127-130, 134, 13M-142, 149, 
157-105, 107, 175, 179-18'J, 185, 
188, 'jol, •2i\2, 204, 200, 210, 
211, 213, 215, 220, 221, 223-22."), 
220-247, 249-254, 273, 275, 29S, 
305,319,3+8; to ir.r% Chronic/,; 
109; to workiiiij men, 120; to 
William Tait, 13o-l;U, 151, 156; to 
A. Punlic, 1J2; to Th.mias North, 
138, 208, 210, 213; to Kev. D. 
Wasseli, 183; to S. McGillivrav, 
191 ; to Dr. R. Black, 201, 203; to 
Tiiomas Falconer, 204, 225; to Sir 
P. Fairbairn,209; to Fisher, 
220,253; to William Fisher, Jun., 
206, 280, 304, 305, 310, 311, 313, 
330, 335, 356, 364; to A. Booth, 
265 ; to Rev. J. Maclean, 244 ; to 
Count Ajjponyi, 280 ; to H.J. Gains- 
ford, 291, 293; to Robert Leader, 
297, 301, .320; to W. Ibbitt, 299 ; 
to John Stuart Mill, 307; to J. 
England, 310; to The Tivics, 322, 
331 ; to John Lawton, 339 ; to Lord 
Mayor of London, 363 

l^etters to Roebuck, from W. Hawkes 
Smith, 61 ; Lord Brougham, 114, 
148; Sir W. Napier, 152; P. A. 
Taylor, 153; John Black, 191; T. 
Dunn, 249; William Fisher, 206; 
the Dean of Elphin, 273, 274; 
Francis Place, 82, 87, 94, 103, 111, 
133, 218 ; Earl of Shaftesbury, 285 

Lever, Joiin Orrell, (Gahvay), 289, 290 

Lewin, Mr., 136 

Lewis, Sir George Cornewall, 174, 278 

Lincoln, Lord, (afterwards Duke of 
Newcastle), 182 

Lindsay, W. S., (Sunderland), 296 

Liskeard, rejiresentation of, 211 

Lisle, Mrs. Colonel, 182 

" Little's Poems." Sea Moore, Thomas. 

Littleton, E., Irish Secretary, 04 

Liverpool Liberals, 129 

Locke, Joseph, (Honiton), 243 

Locke's " Human Understanding," 26 

Loftus, Lord Augustus, 298 

Londesborough, Lord, 336 

London, rejiresentation of, 102, 232, 255 

, Lord Mayor of, 363 

Lonsdale, Lord, 181 

Lords, House of, of what use, 09, 338, 
339; disfigures Municipal Corpora- 
tions Bill, 70; proposal to abolish 
veto, 71 ; on Irish Corporations 



i 1 


l\ I 



15111,78,83; tramjilcs on Ministers, 
M ; Roebuck nt the bar of, li;$, lU; 
Poor Laws, 18'2; ilefemtecl, '221 ; on 
Jewish oath, 'I'Xd, 'J3+ ; censures 
''almerstou's policy, '240 ; action on 
Ballot Bill vindicated, ;5;!8 

Lovett, William, 125, 133, 203 

LyniiugtoD, 165 

Lyndh\irst, Lord Chancellor, 114, 154 

Lytton, Sir E. B., 2(51 


Macai'I,ay, T. B., (afterwards Lord), 
14;!, 211 «., 213, 2Il> 

McGillivray, Simon, 101-193 

Macliinnoii, Mr., 172, 241) 

Maclean, Hev. .1., 244 

^laclise, artist, 2."i4 

JIacnaghtiMi, Sir VV., niunlcr of, 142 //. 

Madras, 2, 182 

Mas^istracv, an elective, 44 

iMalot, Lady, 173 

JIalniesbury, Lord, 229 

Manchester, like Paris, 210 ; Athonanim, 

Manners, Lord John, (afterwards Duke 
of Rutland), 197, 198,233 

Marrast, Armand, lOG 

Mary, (^ueen of Scots, 120 

Marylebone, reiircsmitatiou of, 331 

Mayuooth grant, 150 

Meager "of the Sword," 228 

Mechanics' institutes, 283, 330 

Jleersbrook, 2, 221 

Melbourne, Lord, 02, 04, 84, 88, 90 »i., 
103, 118, 12;i, 208 

^Members duties, etc. Sec Parliament. 

Methueu, Paul, (N. Wilts), 78, 79 

Middlesex, dinner, 85-87, 89, 90, 94 ; 
election (1830), 217 

Milford Haven, 279, 280, 290 

Militia Bill, Russell defeated on, 251, 

Mill, James, 8 «., 27 «., 28, 29, .•)74 

Mill, John Stuart, 25; the Utilitarians, 
20, 27 ; mental state of, 28 ; in Paris 
with Itoebuck, 29 ; scatters violet 
seeds, 29 ; debating society, 32, 
34; sketch of, 30-41; his views of 
poetry, 37 ; causes of his alienation 
from Roebuck, 38-40, 76; on the 
Radicals, 80 ; on Roebuck's demo- 
cratic speech, 94 ; rejjresentatiou of 
Westminster, 306-308 

Jlill, Mrs. J. S. See Taylor, :\rrs. 

Mills, Frank, 102, 180, 201, 202, 213, 

214, 222, 235, 240, 243, 298 
Mills, John, 180 
]\Iilnc8, R. Monckton, (afterwards Lord 

Houghton), 100, 130, 250 
Missionaries, 156 
Mcddavia and VVallachia, 270 
Moles worth. Rev. W. N., 232, 2;].". n. 
Jloleswortli, Sir William, 61, 70, 71, 

74, 70, 79, 81, 83, 85-89, 94, 100, 

108, 190, 231, 237 n., 238 
Jlontalembert, M., 271 
Montagu, Lady Mary, 47 
Montagu, Lord Robert, 297 
'Montcalm, General, 142 
Jlontgomery, Alfred, 100, 229 
Montponsier, Due de, 168 
Montreal, 14, 15; i'arliament House 

burnt, 224. See Canada, 
^lontnisc, representation of, 142 
Jloore, Thoma.«, 7 71., 57 n. 
Morpeth, Lord, (atterwards Karl of 

Carlisle), 95, 204, 200 
Mundella, A. J., 321, ;;25, 337, 342, 

348, 357 
Munich, 298 
Mnnici|ial corporation reform, 44, 69; 

Lord's amendments, 69, 70, 71, 83, 

Murat, Achille, 333 
Murch, Rev. Jerome, 175, 170, 178, 

Murray, Jlr., 202 
Murray, Regent, 120 


Xaas, Lord,(Kildare; afterwards Earl 
of Mayo), 248, 273 

Xapior, Sir Charles, at Bath, 88 ; and 
Scinde, 151; thanks to, 152; and 
Ciown of Greece, 152 n., 211!, 215, 

Napier, Macvey, 130 

Najiier, Richard, 154 

Napier, Lady William, 220 

Napb'r, Sir William, 72, 88; "Penin- 
sular War," 130, 152; Governor of 
Guernsey, 73, 1,54, 172, 181, 194 

Nai)les, the Cagliari dispute, 270 ; 
Government overthrown, 290 

Najiolcon, President, a bad man, 253 ; 
Kinperor, tribute to, 258; a despot, 
272; perjured lips, 275, 276; 
truckling to, 283, 371 ; in Italy, 
291 ; urged to recognize confederates, 



>0l, 202, 2i:t, 

I, 298 

erwards Lunl 


2;!2, 23:1 >i. 
, 61, 70, 71, 
-89, 94, lOG, 


, 229 

anient House 


of, 142 


aids Karl of 

25, :}37, 342, 

iforni, 44, 69 ; 
<>, 70, 71, 83, 

75, 170, 178, 

torwarils Earl 

nth, an ; and 
to, 152; and 
«., 213, 215, 

88; "I'enin- 
Gdvernor of 
181, 194 

ispiito, 270 ; 

n, 290 

ui man, 253 ; 

8 ; a despot, 

275, 276 ; 

1 ; in Italy, 


296, 298 ; picture of, 299 ; influcuoe 
for peace, 309 ; captive, 333, 334 

Nation, state of the, 212, 240 

National convention, 195 

Navigation laws, 170, 223, 240 

Newcastle, Duke of, 260 n. iS'ce Lincoln, 

Newspapers, stamped and unstain])ed, 
57, 60, 78, 126, 190; degradation 
of the press, 68 

New Zealand, settlement of, 156 ; 
Waketield's colonization scheme, 
173, 192 n. ; bishopric, 263 ; abori- 
gines, 300 

Nomination boroughs, 33 

Norfolk, Duke of, 330 

Norman, G., (BathX 175, 186, 261 

Normanby, Lord, 173 

North, Thomas, (Bath), 138, 208, 210, 

Northern Star^ the, 126 

Northumberland, Duke of, 359 

Nottingham, corruption at, 144 


Oathb, Parliamentary, 226, 233 
O'Brien, Smith, 177, 178, 198 ; trans- 
ported, 228 
O'Connell, Daniel. 54, 58, 64, 80, 94, 

103, 1U6, 129, 149; trial of, 150; 

death of, 176 ; Roebuck's association 

with, 177-180, 188 
O'Connor, Feargus, 126, 127, 143, 196, 

O'Connell, John, (Limerick), 224, 228 
Ostend, 162 
Oswald, James, 123 
Oude. i%e India. 
Ouse, the, 120, 128 
Outran), Sir James, 151 
Overend, William, (Sheffield), 253, 264, 

Owenites, co-operative society, 32 ; 

doctrines of, 205 


Paoet, Sir James, 310 

Pakington, Sir J., 237, 259 

Palmer, General, 43, 48, 66, 73, 88, 99, 

Palmer, Sir Boundell, (Lord Selborne), 

Palmerston, Lady, 251, 252 



Palmerston, Lord, and France, 131, 132, 
173; corrupt practices, 144; Ameri- 
<;an treaty, 147 ; opposed by Grey, 
162 ; Panama and Suez Canals, 201, 
202, 267 ; foreign aifairs, 223, 231 ; 
French in Rome, 229 ; Greece, 240 ; 
his great defence, 241-243; tit for 
tat on Russell, 251 ; Ministry (1855), 
258; dissolves on China vote, 264, 
265; Parliamentary reform, 266, 
267, 278, 279; Persia and Brazil, 
267 ; defeated on Orsini Conspiracy 
Bill, 269, 270 ; distrusted by Roe'- 
buck, 131, 132, 147, 279-281 ; ap- 
]>roved by Roebuck, 231, 241, 299 ; 
Ameriran War, 295-297 ; Schleswig- 
Holstein, 299 ; death, 309 
Pamphlets for the people, 60, 61, 69, 

71,74,75,78, 190,353 
Panama Canal, 201, 202 
Papal aggression (1850), 246, 

Ecclesiastical Titles Bill. 
Paper duty, 237 n. 
Papineau, M., 62, 121, 197 
Paris, revolution (1830), 29, 
insurrection (1849), 226, 239 
Parker, John, (Sheffield), 251, 253, 25:>, 

Parkes, Joseph, 70, 90, 110, 179 
Parliament, the reformed, 51 ; manners 
in, 52, 53 ; reform of procedure, 97 ; 
temper of, 308 ; Scottish consti- 
tuencies, 134 

, members of, their duties, 48; 
property qualification, 49, 50; 
subscriptions, 63; mental qualifica- 
tion and training, 32, 297, 298, 306, 
364; responsibilities of, 297, 298; 
relations to constituents, 303 

, Houses of, old, 52, 53 ; new, 52 ; 

tem|)orary, 65 
Parliamentary elections, ministerial 

interference in, 56 
Parliaments, triennial, 44 
Parties, state of (1841), 134; (1850), 
238,240, 241; (1867), 312; anew 
< 'onservative party, 213; a National 
partr, 312, 343; a party of one, 238, 
262, 270, 370. See Whigs and 
Pate, R., strikes the Queen, 242 
Peace, |iarty, 241, 266 ; fleet the best 

preserver of, 257 
Peacock, Thomas Love, 8, 25 
Peel, Mr., Clerk of Privy Council, 359 
Peel, Sir Robert, short ministry (1835), 
65, 66 ; charge against Roebuck, 67 ; 
throws over the Lords, 69, 70, 

2 c 






71 ; his ToryUiu, 123 ; spoech at 
Tamworth, 138 ; budget (1S42), 139 ; 
income tax, 140 ; on Chartists, 143 ; 
thanks to Indian army, 147, 152 ; 
O'Connell, 150; Disraeli's attacks 
oD, 156, 168; decides to repeal Corn 
Law-o, .161, 163, 167 ; resignation, 
161 ; return to oflSce, 162 ; tariff 
reforms, 167; his fall, 167; Irish 
coercion, 168 ; on France, 173, 229 ; 
challenges Hume, 195, 197, 198; 
cheers Roebuck, 232; magistrates 
and flogging, 237 ; saves the Whigs, 
238, 242; death, 243, 244; papers, 
245 ; Irish land, 319 

Peelites, 240, 241, 253 

Peninsular war, Napier's History of, 

Penrith, 205 

Permissive Bill, 295, 301, 345 

Perry, Erskine, 125 

Pei*sia, war with, 267 

Perth, 134 

Petitions, presentation of, 139 

Philippe, King Louis, 30, 131, 132 

Phinn, T., (Bath), 246 

Photography, early, 215 

Pickersgill, R.A., 348 

Pitt's duel with Tierney, 195 

Place, Francis, 27, 28, 33, 42, 59, 75, 
76, 80-82, 85-89.94, 102-105, 108- 
112, 125, 127, 133, 212, 214, 216, 

Plumridge, Captain, 144 

Poetry, the influence of, 37, 38, 40 

Poland, 300, 301 

Polignac, 218 

Political and Moral Knowledge Society, 

Politics, fierceness in, 45, 305 ; women 
in, 46 

Pontefract, 129 

Poor Laws, 86, 100, 174, 197, 221 ; 
Lords and, 182 

Portugal, 180, 181 

Post Office, espionage in, 156 ; Sunday 
delivery stopped, 241 ; resumed, 243, 

Potato crop, failure of, 161 

Powell, Sir John, 359 

Powerscourt, Lord, 99, 100, 137 ; duel 
with Roebuck, 193-195 

Prandi, Signor, 106 

Presentatious to Roebuck, 32, 127, 188, 
212, 261, 329 

Press, corrupt, 68 

Price, Edwin Plumer, 325 

Price, Grove, 71 

Priestley, Dr., 26 

Prince Albert, 251, 257, 2'>0 n. 

Prince Leopold, 359, 360 

Prince of Wales' illness, 336 

Princess Charlotte, 336 

Princess Royal, afterwards Empress 

Frederick William of Germany, 267 
Princess Royal, daughter of George HI., 

Probyn, Air., 303 
Property qualification, 49, 50 
Property tax, 248 

Protectionist efibrts, 223, 231,240, 247 
Prussia, and headship of Germany, 286 ; 

rivalry with Austria, 287, 298; 

hatred of England, 288 ; Schleswig- 

Holstein, 299 
Pvblic Ledger, The, 190 
Pulpit, Power of the, 328 
Purdie, A., 122 
Putney Hill, Leader's villa at, 106, 189, 



Quebec, 13, 15, 26 
Queen Caroline, 215 
Queen Victoria, struck, 242 ; Palmer- 

ston, 251 ; at Cherbourg, 275-276 ; 

Empress, 348; honours Roebuck, 


Radical a8piration3, 59; policy, 74, 
93; recriminations, 79, 91, 94, 95; 
rout (1837), 101, 102; disappoiht- 
ments, 80, 102, 103, 105, 111, 113 

Railways, Great Western, 68 ; bills, 
180, 181 ; Great Eastern r.nd Hudson, 
223 n., 225, 226 

Reading, corruption at, 145 

Reddie, Mr., 118 

Reform, Parliamentary, Act of 1832, 
30, 212 ; gerrymandering, 33, 169, 
203, 204, 208, 214, 233 n., 245; 
County Franchise Bill (1851), 247, 
248; manhood suffrAge, 252, 299; 
Palmerston on, 267-274; Disraeli's 
fancy franchise, 2^6 ; Russell's Bill, 
309-311 ; Disrae'i's household suf- 
frage (!869), 312-314, 337; three- 
cornered constituenoes, 314 

Revans, John, 180, 192 n. 

Revans, Samuel, 192, 193 

Reynolds, J., (DuLlin), 228 



ilia at, 106, 189, 

Rice, Spring, 84, 114 

Richardson, artist, 210, 254 

Richmond, Duke of, 359 

Rintoul of the Specta^tTy 106 

Roberts, artist, 254 

Roebuck, Benjamin, 2, 3, 14, 48, 221 

Roebuck, Mrs. Benjamin, 47, 48, 72 

Roebuck, Benjamin, Jun., 9, 18 

Roebuck, Ebenezer, 2, 3, 48 

Roebuck, Mr;). Ebenezer, (n<f« Zipporah 
Tickell, afterwards Mrs, Simpson, 
Roebuck's mother), 2, 3, 14, 17 ; 
death of, 142, 182 

Roebuck, George, 17 

Roebuck, Henry, 18, 182 

Roebuck, Henry Disley, 47 

Roebuck, Miss H. Zipporah, 31, 155, 
188, 205, 311, 359, 365 

Roebuck, Dr. John, 2, 47, 138 

Roebuck, John, 2, 48 

Roebuck, John Arthur, autobiography, 
1-41, 341 ; birth and family, 2, 14, 
16, 19, 182; mother, 2, 3, 14, 17, 
142, 182 ; recollections of Kcan, 
Young, the Kembles, 4, 5 ; skating, 
5, 6 ; education, 6-10, 23 ; emi- 
gration to Canada, 3, 11, 14; life 
in Canada, 16-24; its influence on 
his character, 18-23 ; artistic tastes, 
21, 63, 72, 116, 120, 205, 254, 255 ; 
return to England, 24, 25 ; joins the 
Utilitarians, 25-29 ; Mill, Bentham, 
and Grote, 25-30; candidature at 
Bath, 31 ; obtains a seat and a wife, 
31, 32 ; oratorical training, 31, 32 ; 
presentations to, qx. \ the Reform 
Act at Christchurch, 33-35 ; estimate 
of and severance from J. S. Mill, 
36-41, 306 ; the influence of poetry, 
37, 38, 40; programme at Bath 
and first election (1832), 42-48; 
seat challenged, 49 ; on Church of 
England and disestablishment and 
ritualism, 9.0. ; personal encounters, 
Foster, 48,— Kearsley, 78, — Ferrand, 
174, — Black, 190-193, — Powers- 
court, 194,— F. O'Connor, 196,- 
Smythe, 197,— Somers and Fox, 228, 
— Bail lie Cochrane, 227; on fierce- 
ness in politic-'), 45, 305 ; women in 
politics and as letter-writers, 46, 47 ; 
the House of Commons in 1833, 51- 
53,— and in 1868, 308 ; first speech 
in, 54 ; Irish coercion, qx, ; national 
education, q.v, ; school at Bath, 57, 
341 ; attacks on temperance legis- 
lation, 57, 295, 301, 345, 349; 
(ohiunj)ioDship of the persecuted, 57, 

67, 68 ; unstamped newspapers, q.v. ; 
attacked by Cobbett, 62 ; animosity 
against Sabbatarian legislation {see 
Sunday observance); attitude to 
Whigs and Tories (jsee Whigs and 
Tories, and Politics, state of) ; chil- 
dren's books, 59, 186; pamphlets for 
the people and other political 
writings, q.v.; starts Society for 
Diffusion of Political Knowledge, 59, 
60 ; on canvassing, 44, 63, 185 ; ill- 
nesses, 63, 79, 176, 231, 247, 252, 
254-259, 310, 311, 333-335; on 
members' responsibilities (see Par- 
liament) ; re-election for Bath (1835), 
66 ; Canada, agent for {see Canada) ; 
pleads for Canada at bar of Com- 
mons, 110, 111 ; and of Lords, 113, 
114; gratitude of Canadians, 115; 
attacks House of Lords, q.v, ; defends 
it, 221, 338; friendship with the 
Napiers, 72, 73, 154, 181, 194; 
answers his assailants, 81, 82, 95, 
140, 148, 175, 176, 181, 185, 275, 
276, 281, 291, 292, 301-303, 305, 
321, 324, 368; democratic speech, 
92, 93, 96 ; writes Parliamentary 
sketches, 95, 96, 146 ; self-govern- 
ment for England, 96, 210; and 
Ireland, q.v.; attacks the Whig^^, 
169, 171, 175, 182, 231, 248; saves 
them, 181, 240, 241 ; his courage 
and independence, 97, 98, 329, 341, 
368-370; "a thorn in the flesh," 
370, 371 ; his irritability and im- 
patience, 107, 110, 176, 178, 181, 
182, 253, 302, 371; but has a sen- 
timental side, 330; defeat at Bath 
(1837), 99, 100,— its causes, 101 ; 
attacks on Dissenters {see Dissenters); 
work at the bar, 104, 121, 122, 128, 
129, 134, 136, 137, 141, 154, 176, 
234, 235 ; on taking otBce, 104, 179, 
180, 181, 210, 213, 235, 237, 245, 
247 ; speech at the Crown and 
Anchor, 108, 109; offends Mrs. 
Grote, 103 ; invited to contest Glas- 
gow, 116-124, 252; Kilmarnock, 

117, 118; other seats, 200, 201; 
Finsbury, 201 ; West Riding, 206- 
210; Liskeard, 211 ; Tower Hamlets, 
251 ; Marylebone, 331 ; factory life 
and legislation, q.v. ; connection 
with the people's charter, 125, 126, 
133, 143 ; as a leader of the people, 

118, 204, 220, 354, 355; encour- 
aging Leeds reformers, 127, 131 ; on 
lawyers, 128, 239; Carlyle excites 





I lr( 

contempt, 136; literary estimates, 
130, 135, 141, 142 ; distrusts Palmer- 
stOD, 131, 132, 147; interests iiim 
in Panama Canal, 201, 202 ; approves 
his policy, 231, 241 ; opposes him 
on China war, 264, 265, — and on 
Orsini case, 269, 371 ; thinks him 
falsa and hollow, 279-281, 371; 
urges him to recognize confederates, 
296 ; prefers hsm to Russell, 299 ; 
thinks hira right, 299; on state of 
parties (jsee Parties) ; a party of one, 
238, 262, 270, 370; writes history 
of the Whig Ministry of 1830, q.v. ; 
and "Colonies of England," 200, 222, 
225 ; on income tax, 139, 140 ; 
advocates its extension to Ireland, 
155, 169, 171, 172; re-elected for 
Bath (1841), 137, 138; final re- 
jection at Bath (1847), 175, 186- 
188; challenges members for cor- 
rupt practices, 143-145; attitude 
to Anti-Corn Law League, 146, 
167, 179, 265; on Irish Church, 
53; attacks it, 140, 150; defends 
it, q.v.; parliamentary position, 153, 
222, 247 : and training, 297, 307 ; 
his Hampshire farm (see Ashley 
Arnewood); residence at Ashley 
Place, 155; colonial schemes and 
policy (sM Colonies, New Zealand, 
etc.) ; visits Paris, 29, 30, 296, 298 ; 
France, 63; Bath, 72, 73, 88, 127, 
148, 175, 188. 283 ; Glasgow, 116 ; 
York, 120, 127, 128, 134, 140, 149, 
234, 243; Pontefract, 129, 136; 
Frystone, 136; Birmingham, 138; 
Belgium, 157-163, 201, 202; 
Brougham Hall, 204, 205; Liver- 
pool, 116, 129, 135, 236; Leeds, 
128, 206, 235, 236, 252, 276 ; Bury, 
211 ; Bradford-on-Avon, 212 ; Castle 
Howard, 255; Malvern, 256; Oal- 
way, 272; Milford Haven, 279; 
Middlesbro', 283; Sheffield, q.v.; 
Vienna, 285, 289; Salisbury, 72, 
231, 294; Swanage, 297; Munich, 
298 ; Dewsburv, Nottingham, and 
.Meltham, 330*; Usk, 334; Man> 
cliester, 348; encounters with Dis- 
raeli, 168, 170, 197; compliments 
him, 226, 238; backs him for office, 
244; rolls him over, 247; opposes 
his fancy Franchise Bill (1859), 276 ; 
supports it, 279; sup}K>rts his Ro- 
furm Bill (1867), 312,— and his 
Eastern poller, 349, 357, 360 ; made 
privy councillor by, 358 ; flings him- 

self into the Corn Law fray, 168, 231 ; 
stirs up the Irish, 169-172, 178, 179, 
224, 228, 229 ; popular with them, 
234 ; Whigs and Peelites court or fear 
him, 118, 142, 171, 179-182, 234, 
237, 239, 241, 247 ; on O'Connel), 
177 ; angry with Lord John Russell, 
181; will not follov/ him, 252 ; resents 
insolence of, 278 ; attacks his Durham 
letter, 246,247, 372,— and his Vienna 
mission, 261 ; opinion of him, 252, 
278 (see Russell); thinks Louis 
Blanc a charlatan, 205; objects of 
his political life, 209, 110, 280, 305, 
317, 325, 329, 341, 342, 344, 360, 
362; the birth of photography, 215; 
association with Brougham (see 
Brougham) ; on Wellington, 218 ; 
tirst election for Sheffield (1849), 
219-221 ; second (1852), 251-255 ; 
third (1857), 264-266; fourth (1859), 
279 ; fifth (1865), 304 ; defeated at 
(1868), 325, 326, 371; re-elected 
(1874), 342 ; on working men, 220, 
295, 301, 317, 325, 345, 354, 355 ; 
how to deal with public meetings, 
220, 221, 275, 292, 302,305; Par- 
liamentary Reform, q.v. ; speech on 
Jewish oath, 226 ; champions Roths- 
child, 233 ; opposes Deceased Wife's 
Sister Bill, 234, 235; defends ex- 
termination of aborigines, 248, 253, 
300; bitten by a dog, 249; in a 
railway accident, 256 ; denounces 
Napoleon, praises him, and visits 
him (sec Napoleon); at Sheffield 
cutlers' feasts, q.v.; strength of 
England makes for peace, 256, 325, 
330; obtains Sebastopol inquiry, 
258-260, 370; portraits, 215, 261, 
348; always too soon, 264, 270, 
313; the parliamentary policeman, 
143-145, 196 n., 263, 264 ; speech on 
confiscation of Oude, 271 ; described 
by Montalembert, 271 ; England's 
duty, 271 ; "Tear 'em," 272 ; cham- 
pions Galway Packet Company, 
q.v. ; attitude to Italian unity, 279 ; 
and Austrian occupation, 290-294, 
301 ; and annexation of Savoy, 283, 
290; supports Derby's Ministry, 
280; advocates Anglo-Austrian Al- 
liance, 285-289, 290, 298, 371 ; on 
England's relations with United 
States, 281 ; advocates recognition 
of the South, 295-298 ; attacks the 
North, 296, 301, 321-324, 335, 
371, 372 ; democracy, 299, 321, 324, 



on, 290-294, 

330, 335 ; relations with constituents 
strained, 291, 297, 300, 301-305, 
309, 315, 318, 320,— and brolccn, 
321 ; contemplates retirement, 304, 
305, 356 ; has seen the error of his 
Radical days, 313 ; still a thorough- 
going Radical, 330, 340, 362; 
changed views, 338, 341, 342; <' I 
have not changed," 362, 370; on 
capital and labour, 315-317, 330, 
371; the Sheffield outrages, 318; 
Trades Union and Labour Laws 
ComraisMoiier. 315, 318, 321, 332, 
343 ; unfavourable opinions of Glad- 
stone {see Gladstone); political tes- 
tament, 330; contemplates writing 
history of House of Commons, 327 ; 
views on the pulpit, 328; love of 
Latin, 332 ; longings after the old 
-eat, 334, 335, 337 ; it is offered to 
him, 339 ; he accepts, 340 ; and 
obtains it, 342 ; clings to it, 357, 
362 ; but Anally decides to relinquish 
it, 363, 364; qualifications for his 
successor, 364: denounces dema- 
gogues, 339, 343; his last Par- 
liament, 345 ; " My forces fail me," 
346, 352, 353; supports Beacons- 
field's Eastern policy {see Foreign 
Policy); attacked jy Sir Henry 
James, 353; joins the Tories, 354, 
357, 358, 361 ; last speech in Par- 
liament, 357 ; how he was made a 
privy councillor, 358-360; the 
Queen's graciousness, 359, 360 ; 
England before all. 360, 361, 369, 
372; last public letter, 363; last 
illness, 365; death, 366; Mr. Glad- 
stone's tribute, 367 ; estimates of 
his career and oratory, 367-374 ; 
his private character, 375. (For Roe- 
buck's connection with other public 
questions and legislation, see refe- 
rences under separate headings.) 

Roebuck, Mrs. John Arthur, {nie Hen- 
rietta Falconer), 31, 45, 46, 63, 155, 
193, 210, 243, 247, 311, 365. See 
s,n. Letters. 

Roebuck, Richard, 17 

Roebuck, Thomas, 48 

Roebuck, William, 17, 21 

Roland, Madame, 46 

Rolfe, Sir R., 135 ; Baron, 154 

Rome, French attack on, 229 

Romilly, Sir J., 33, 250 

Rose, Sir George, 33 

Rothschild, Baron Lionel de, 233, 250, 
255, 277 

Roumania, 270 

Royal Academy, 2>j4 

Ruskin Museum, 2 

Russell, Lady John, 250 

Russell, Lord John, npsets the coach, 
64 ; on House of Lords, 70, 71, 72, 
338; F. Place on, 83, 84; Canada, 
96, 109, 110, 225, 227; and the 
Radicals, 102, 105; finality, 123; 
defeated (1841), 137 ; appeals to 
country, 137 ; attempts to exasperate 
him, 138; Chartists, 143; Corn 
Laws, 147, 161, 170, 172, 224, 234; 
factories, 153; Edinburgh letter, 
161 ; unable to form Ministry, 162 ; 
forms Ministry (1846), 169; naviga- 
tion laws, 170 ; education plan, 173- 
175, 179, 262 ; discourages attack 
on Roebuck's scat, 181, 182 ; angry 
with Roebuck, 181, 182; colonies, 
225, 231, 239 ; adverse vote in Lords, 
240 ; reversed in Commons, 242 ; 
Sunday work in Post Office, 243; 
Durham letter, 246, 372 ; resigns, 
but resumes (1851), 247; clings to 
office, 248 ; four times defeated, 248 ; 
resigns, 251, 252, 259; Roebuck's 
opinion of, 252, 278, 299; Vienua 
mission, 261 ; New Zealand bishopric, 
263; China War, 264; Irish vice- 
royalty, 267; Reform Bill (1859), 
276-278 ; (1866), 309, 310 ; foreign 
policy, 299; Ministry (1866), 309; 
defeated, 310, 312 

Russia, 78, 204 ; invasion of Hungary, 
231 ; and Turkey, 258 {see Crimean 
War) ; Turkish war, 349-353 ; treat- 
ment of Christians, 361 {see also 
Eastern Questioa). 


I Sadm:ir, James, 263, 264 

I St. Albans, corruption at, 248, 253 

] St. Lawrence river, 6, 14, 21-23 ; navi- 
gation of, 15 
Salisbury, 231,294, 301 

I Salwey, Colonel, (Ludlow), 230 

I Sandbach, Mrs., (Liverpool), 236-237 

I Savoy, French annexation of, 283, 
! 290 

! Schleswig-Holstein, 2S9 

I Scindc, annexation of, 73, 151, 179 

\ Scobell, Capt., 99, 100 

i Seats, redistribution of, 253 

I Sebastopol. Sec Crimean War. 







m ! 

SeftOD, Lord, 236 
Selby, Mr., 49 
Sevigny, Madame de, 47 
Seymour, Lord, 259, 260 n. 
Shaftesbury, Earl of, 285, 329. See 

ShefHeld Collegiate School, 23 

Cutlers' Feaiis, 249, 256, 272, 

309, 321, 330, 338, 350, 358, 360 

Mechanics' Institute, 20 

, meetings at, 220, 221, 275, 292 ; 

" wild beasts " at, 301-305; 310, 313, 

321, 335, 337 

presentation to Roebuck, 32 ; 

thanks to Roebuck, 261 ; opposition 
to Roebuck, 297, 309,315, 318, 320, 

, Roebuck's elections (1849), 219- 

221 ; (1852), 251, 253-255 ; (1857), 

264-266; (1859), 279; (1865), 303, 

304; defeated (1868), 325, 326; 

re-elected (1874), 339, 342 
, scenery near, 135, 136; flood 

and Water Company, 301 

trade outrages, 316, 318, 326 

, third member for, 314 

Shiel, R. L., 150, 168 n. 

Simcoe, General, Gorernor-Qeneral of 

Canada, 4 
Simpson, Mr., 3, 8, 9, 14, 15, 17 
Simpson, Mrs. See Roebuck, Mrs. 

Simpson, Mrs. Bridgman, 254 
Sinclair, Sir G., 134, 226 
Sinecures and pensions, 56, 231 
Skating, 5, 6 
Slavery, abolition of, 44 ; slave trade, 

Smith, John Abel, 243 
Smith, Richard, (Sheffield), 261 
Smith, W. H., 306, 307 
Smith, W. Hawkes, 61 
Smythe, G. A. F., (afterwards Lord 

Strangford), 197, 198 
Society for Diffusion of Political and 

Moral Knowledge, 59-61 
Semers, J. P., (Sligo), 199 
Somes, John, (Hull), 295 
Soult, Marshal, 132 
Spanish marriages, 168 
Speakers, Sutton, 54 ; Addington, 195; 

I^fevre, 228, 229, 234, 248 ; Denison, 

239 ; Brand, 353 
Spectator (hintoul's), 92, 101, 106 
Spectator, The, 370-373 
Spencer, Lord, 65. See Althorp. 
Spithead review, 256 
Stafford, bribery at, 96 

Stamps (Newspaper), 57, 60, 68, 74, 
78, 81, 82, 126 

Stanley, Mr., encounter with O'Connell, 
54; Irish Church, 58, 64; Canada, 
62, 115; (Lord) Roebuck's opinion 
of, 95, 96 n. ; Irish Registration Bill, 
129 n.; Corn Laws, 147; Ireland, 
169 ; Greece, 240. See Derby, Lord. 

Stansfield, Clarkson, 254 

Sterling, Mr, (The Times), 190 

Stevens, J. L., 82, 190 

Steward, Patrick, 67 

Stewart, Mrs., 137, 138 

Stockport, 136 

Strutt, E., 70, 181 

Stuart, Lord Dudley, 78 

Sudbury, disfranchisement of, 253 

Suez Canal, 201, 202, 267 

Suffrage, 124, 138. See Reform, 

Sumner, Charles, 106 

Sunday closing, 295, 301, 349 

observance, 57-59, 68, 69, 97, 

99, 101, 248, 266, 295; in Post 
Office, 241, 243, 244; trading, 248 

opening of museums, 58 

Superstitions, 243, 334 

Sutherland, Duchess of, 114 

Sutton (Speaker), 54 

Swanage, 297 

Syria, 132 


Taifs Edinburgh Magazine, 52, 57 n., 

59, 61 n., 79 n., 95 »»., 130-134, 186, 

211 n., 216 n. 
Tait, William, 151, 156, 167 
Tapps, Sir George, 34 
Taxation, graduated, 44 ; excessive, 230 
Taxes on knowledge, 44, 68 
Taylor, Mr., 38 
Taylor, Mrs., (afterwards Mrs. J. S. 

Mill), 38, 39 
Taylor, P. A., 163 

" Tear 'em," origin of the name, 272 
Temperance legislation, 57, 295, 301, 

Tennant, Sir Emerson, 152 n. 
Thiers, M., 131, 132, 250 
Thomas, Clement, 106 
Thompson, Gen. Perronet, 76, 83, 85, 

89, 102, 145 
Tickeli, Eliza, 3, 4, 173 
Tickell, Richard, 2-4; Richard, Mrs., 


1 I 

i 1 



Tickell, Thomas, 2 n. 

Ti kell, Zipporah, 2 {see Roebuck, Mrs. 
Ebenezer); her mother, 11 

Ticrney, Mr., 195 

Timber duties, 139 

Tmes, The, 60, 61, 77, 138, 144, 153, 
174, 182, 190, 208, 213, 219, 231, 
237, 241, 245, 275-6 ; on Roebuck- 
baiting, 30 ; 303, 319, 320, 322-331 

TinJal], Chief Justice, 150 

Tipperary, 263 

Torrens, McCulIagh, 268 

TorringtoD, Lord, Governor of Cevlon, 
247, 248 

Trades Unions, 315, 321, 326, 343 

Travers, John, 105 

Trelawny, Edward John, 106, 194 

Trelawnv, Sir J. S., (Tavistock), 235 

Trelawnv, Sir W. L. S., 102 

Truro, Lady, 251 

Tufnell, H., 211 

Turk, The, 349 

Turkey, war with Russia, 349, 351-353 


Un (TED States, relations with England, 
281; war, 295-298, 371, 372; 
Democracy in, 299, 301, 321-324, 
330, 335 

Utilitarians, 25-27, 37 

Van der Hagen, M., 158, 160, 161 
Van de Weyer, M., 159, 160, 250 
Van Diemen's Land, Canadian convicts 

in, 115; ordinances, 230 
Van Praet, M., 159 
Venetia, 291 
Vienna, 289, 290 
Vigier, M., 72 
Villiers, Charles Pelham, 105, 146, 147, 

174, 176, 230 
Vincent, Henry, 126 
Vindicator, The Western, 126 
Voltaire, 130 


VVaddy, Rev. Dr., 148, 149 
Waddy, S. D., 357 

Wakefield, E. Gibbon, colonization 

scheme, 173 
Wakley, Thomas, 94, 105 
Wallas, Graham, 27 n. 
Walmsley, Sir J., 230, 236 
Walpole's " History of England," 62 n., 

214 n. 
Walpole, Spencer, 273, 317, 318 
Walter, John, (Timet), at Nottingham, 

144, 197 ; advice to horsewhip, 144; 

summoned to bar of House, 145 ; on 

Corn Laws, 147 
Walter, John, (Berks), 354 
War establishments, 123 
Warburton, Henry, 59, 61 
Warburton, William, Dean of Elphin, 

273, 274 
Ward, H. G., 197, 219-221 
Ward, Mr., 235 
Wassail, Rev. D., 183 
Water Colours Exhibition, 254 
Watson, James, 126 
Watt, James, 138 n. 
Watts, Dr. Isaac, 185 
Wellesley, Lord, 229 
Wellington, Duke of, 59, 69, 114, 152, 

203, 214, 217-18, 348 ; second duke 

of, 106, 348 
Westminster elections (1835, 1837), 

50 n. ; representation of, 81, 103; 

Mill's election, 306-308 
Westminster Review, 70, 87 
Westmoreland, scenery of, 205 
West Riding, representation of, 206- 

210, 212, 219, 253, 305 
Whig dissensions, 62, 116, 119 
Ministry (1830), History of, 132, 

133, 15H, 200, 203, 204, 212, 214- 

218, 229, 230, 245, 247, 250 
Whigs and Tories, 44, 51, 59, 74, 83, 

84, 86-90, 93, 97, 99, 100, 102, 103, 

117, 123, 134, 138, 169, 171, 175, 

182, 203, 213, 231, 248, 278-280, 

31'i 329 341 
Whitb'read,' S., (Bedford), 357 
White Conduit House, 105 
White's " Inner Life of House of Com- 

mons," 269 n. 
Whiteside, James (Chief Justice), 273 
Wilde, Sir Thomas, (Lord Chancellor 

Truro), 150 
William IV., King, coup cTitat (1834), 

64; death, 99; visit to city, 214; 

and Brougham, 24^ ; correspondence 

with Earl Grey, 2* .«. 
Window tax, 140, 155 
Winterhalter, painter, 254 
Women as letter-writers, 47 








Women in politics, 46 

Wood, Sir Charles, (afterwards Lord 

Halifax), 278 
Woods and forests, management of, 248 
Woolf, Sir H. D., 353 
Woollen trade, 128 
Working classes, National Union of, 

61 ; wife beaters and dog fanciers, 

205, 301 ; 220, 317, 325, 345, 354, 

Working lien's Associations, 125, 


Wortler, Rt. Hon. James S., 141, 213, 

Worthy, Hon. F. S., 304 


York, 120, 122, 128, 234, 235 
Yorke, R., (Oloucestershire), 354 
Yorkshire election (1830), 217 
Young, Charles, actor, 4, 5 
Young, G. F., 67 



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AFRICA, 1891-1894. 

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one who reads this exciting book of adventure can regret that we are spending ;£3,ooo,ooo on the 
railway. Major Macdonald writes with considerable literary and historical skill, and his sketches 
and maps are all excellent.' — Pa// Ma// Gazette. 

' The illustrations from photographs and sketches are better than any we have seen of this part of 
the Dark Continent, and the maps are distinctly good.' — Dai/y Chronic/e. 


Leaves frum a Field Naturalist's Note-book. 

By the Right Hon. Sir HERBERT MAXWELL, Bart., M.P. 
Crotvn 8vo., with four Photogravure Illustrations, 6s. 

' It is a very long time since we have read so pleasant a book as this.' — Dai/y Chtonic/e. 

' Most agreeably and freshly written.' — Fie/d. 

' Few books will fill the idle moments of a country-loving man more pleasantly.' — Britis/i Kericiv. 

' The easy style, the graphic descriptions of bird-life, and of the ways of beasts and fishes, the clever 
sketches of sport, the happy introductions of plant-lore and of fragments of myth and legend, will 
ensure a warm welcome for this delightful volume.' — Dai/y Netvs, 


By BRADNOCK HALL, Author of ' Rough Mischance.' 

With an original Etchinj:; by the Author, and twelve full-page 
Illustrations by T. H. McL.\CHLAN. 

Crown 8vo., 6s. 

' This is one of the best books of angling reminiscences I have ever come across.' — Fis/iing Gazette. 

' A pleasant companion for an angler's holiday.' — G/asi^mo Hera/d. 

' Witty, in the best taste, and abounding with sympathetic interest to the angler. . . . The illus- 
trations are exceedingly good. . . . The stories are, every one.' — t'ie/d. 

Books of Travel t Sport, and Adventure, 


IDolumes ot ZTravel, Sport, an^ 3l^venture. 



of this part of 

BLCOn— THE CITY OF BLOOD. {See page 3.) 


rative of a Journey in Cape Colony, the Transvaal, and the Chartered Company's 
Territories. By ALICE Blanche Balfour. With nearly forty original Illustrations 
from Sketches by the Author, and a Map. Demy 8vo. , cloth, i6s. 

Beynon— WITH KELLY TO CHITRAL. By Lieutenant W. G. L. 

Beynon, D.S.O., 3rd Goorkha Rifles, Staff Officer to Colonel Kelly with the Relief 
Force. With Maps, Plans, and Illustrations. Demy 8vo., 7s. 6d. 

Bottome — A SUNSHINE TRIP: Glimpses of the Orient. 

Extracts from Letters written by Margaret Bottome. With Portrait, elegantly 
bound, 4s. 6d. 

Bull— THE CRUISE OF THE * ANTARCTIC To the South Polar 

Regions. By H. J. Bull, a member of the Expedition. With frontispiece by W. 
L. WVLLIE, A.R. A. , and numerous full-page illustrations by W. G. Burn-Murdoch. 
Demy 8vo., iss. 

Chapman— WILD NORWAY. {See page n.) 


Henry Colvile, K.C.M.G., C.B., recently British Commissioner in Uganda. With 
Photogravure Frontispiece, 16 full-page Illustrations and 2 Maps. Demy 8vo., 16s. 


Henry Custance, three times winner of the Derby. 
2S. 6d. 

One vol., crown 8vo., cloth, 


Douglas W. Fkeshfield, lately President of the Alpine Club and Honorary Secretary 
of the Royal Geographical Society. With Contributions by H. W. HoLDtR, J. G. 
Cockin, H. Woulley, M. De Dechy, and Prof. Boxney, D.Sc, F.R.S. Illustrated 
by 3 Panoramas, 74 full-page Photogravures, about 140 Illustrations in the text, chiefly 
from Photographs by Vittokio Sella, and 4 Original Maps, including the first 
authentic map of the Caucasus specially prepared from unpublished sources by Mr. 
Freshkield. In two volumes, large 410., 600 pp., Three Guineas net. 

Gordon— PERSIA REVISITED. With Remarks on H.I.M. Mozuffer- 

ed-Uin Shah, and the Present Situation in Persia (1896). By General Sir T. E. 
Gordon, K.C.I.E., C.B., C.S.I. Formerly Military Aaach6 and Oriental Secretary 
to the British Legation at Teheran, Author of ' The Roof of the world," etc. Demy 
8vo., with full-page illustrations, los. 6d. 

Hole— A LITTLE TOUR IN AMERICA. By the Very Rev. S. 

Reynolds Hole, Dean of Rochester, Author of ' The Memories of Hole,' 
'A Book about Roses," etc. Wirh numerous Illustrations. Demy Bvo., i6s. 

Hole— A LITTLE TOUR IN IRELAND. By 'Oxonian' (the Very 

Rev. S. Reynolds Holi:). With nearly forty Illustrations by John Leech. 
Large crown 8vo. , 6s. 

Knigrht-Bruce-MEMORIES OF MASHONALAND. By the late 

Right Rev. Bishop Knight-Bkuce, formerly Bishop of Mashonaland. 8vo., los. 6d. 


EAST AFRICA. (.SVv/>,/^v 12 ) 




Mr, Edward Arnold's List. 

McNab— ON FARM AND VELDT. {See/>age n.) 
Maxwell— THE SPORTSMAN'S LIBRARY. (Seepages 9 and 10.) 
Maxwell-MEMORIES OF THE MONTHS. (Seepage 12.) 

a Canoe Journey for 4,000 miles, from Fort Wrangtl to the Pelly Lakes, and down 
the Yukon to the Behring Sea. By Warburton Pike. Author of ' The Barren 
Grounds of Canada.' With illustrations by Whymper, from Photographs 
taken by the Author, and a Map. Demy 8vo., i6s. 


Lieut. -Colonel Pollok, author of ' Sport in Burmah.' Illustrated by A. C. Corboulu. 
Demy 8vo., 16s. 


Gerald Portal, K.C.M.G. Edited by Rbnnell Rood, C.M.G. With an Intro- 
duction by the Right Honourable Lord Cromer, G. C.M.G. Illustrated from 
photos taken during the Expedition by Colonel Rhodes. DemySvo., 21s. 

Portal— MY MISSION TO ABYSSINIA. By the late Sir Gerald 

H. Portal, C.B. With Map and Illustrations. Demy 8vo., 15s. 

Slatin— FIRE AND SWORD IN THE SUDAN. (Seepage 6.) 

page II.) 

Stone— IN AND BEYOND THE HIMALAYAS: A Record of Sport 

and Travel. By S. J. Stone, late Deputy Inspector-General of the Punjab Police. 
With i6 full-page Illustrations by Charles Whympek. Demy Svo., i6s. 


These books, selected from the Catalogue of Messrs. Rand McNally & Co., the well- 
known publishers of Chicago, have been placed in Mk. Edward Arnold's hands under 
the impression that many British Travellers and Sportsmen may find them useful before 
starting on expeditions in the United States. 

AldPich— ARCTIC ALASKA AND SIBERIA; or, Eight Months 

with the Arctic Whalemen. By Herbert L. Aldkich. Crown 8vo., cloth, 4s. 6d. 

AMERICAN GAME FISHES. Their Habits, Habitat, and Pecu- 

liarities ; How, When, and Where to Angle for them. By various Writers. Cloth, 
los. 6d. 


Route. By C. A. Higgins. Crown 8vo., cloth, 4s, 6d. 

Lefflngwell-THE ART OF WING - SHOOTING. A Practical 

Treatise on the Use of the Shot-gun. By W. B. Leffingwell. With numerous 
Illustrations. Crown 8vo., cloth, 4s. 6d. 


('Coquina'). Containing also Chapters on Camp Medicine, Cookery, and How to 
Load a Packhorse. Crown 8vo., cloth, 5s. 

Shields— THE AMERICAN BOOK OF THE DOG. By various 

Writers. Edited by G. O. Shields (' Coquina '). Cloth, 15s. 

Thomas— SWEDEN AND THE SWEDES. By William Widgery 

Thomas, Jan., United States Minister to Sweden and Norway. With numerous 
Illustrations. Cloth, i6s. 




TOorfts of jfictton. 



An Episode in the Life of a Butterfly. 

By MARY CHOLMONDELEY, Author of • Diana Tempest,' 'The 

Danvers Jewels,' etc. 

Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. 

' The many readers and admirers of that fine novel " Diana Tempest " will welcome a new book by 
Miss Cholmondeley with interest and high expectation, and it is pleasant to be able to inform them 
that they will not be disappointed. A most original and truthful sketch.' — Vilest minster Gazette. 

' Another of Miss Cholmondeley's clever social sketches from the world about her.' — Manchester 

' Miss Cholmondeley's sketches of young men and women belonging to fashionable society are as 

'The story is written with Miss Cholmondeley's usual vigour, brilliancy, and delicacy.' — Guardian. 




Author of ' Lucilla,' ' A Study in Colour,' etc. 
Crown 8vo., 6s. 

'Good, too, is Miss Spinner's budget of short stories. " Uuckra Tommie" is an exquisitely 
pathetic ■itory.'—Patt Ma!/ Gazette. 

' \'ivid and suggestive studies.' — S/>ectator. 

' Remarkably clever studies of life and character.' — Lady. 


Crown 8vo., 6s. 

'An admirably written book. The author is to be congratulated on the strength with whichshe 
portrays men and women, and describes the passions of love or of grief that sometimes till the mind.' 
— Scotsman. 


Atithorof^ Tales of Modern Greece.'' 

Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. 

'Well worth reading.' — Lii'erfiool Mercury. 

' Enthrals the reader to the end.' —Manchester Courier. 



I'l f- 



Mr. Edward Arnold's List. 

Moxhe of jf iction. 

* Adalet '— HADJIRA : A Turkish Love Story. By * Adalet.' i vol., 
crown 8vo., cloth, 6s. 

Adderley— STEPHEN REMARX. The Story of a Venture in Ethics. 

By the Hon. and Rev. James Auderley, formerly Head of the Oxford House and 
Christ Church Mission, Bethnal Green. Twenty-Second Thousand. Small 8vo., 
elegantly bound, 3s. 6d. Also, in paper cover, is. 

Adderley— PAUL MERCER. {Seepage 7.) 
Blatchford-TOMMY ATKINS. A Tale of the Ranks. By Robert 

Blatchford, Author of ' A Son of the Forge,' ' Merrie England," etc. New Edition. 
Crown 8vo. , cloth, 3s. 6d. 

Charleton— NETHERDYKE. {Seepages.) 

Cherbuliez— THE TUTOR'S SECRET. (Le Secret du Prdcepteur.) 
Translated from the French of Victor Cherbuliez. One vol. , crown 8vo. , cloth, 6s. 

Cholmondeley— A DEVOTEE. By Mary Cholmondelev. {See 

page IS-) 


W. K. Clifford, Author of 'Aunt Anne,' 'Mrs. Keith's Crime,' etc. One vol., 
crown 8vo., cloth, ss. 6d. 

Coleridge-THE KING WITH TWO FACES. {Seepage 8.) 
CoUingwood— THE BONDWOMAN. A Story of the Northmen in 

Lakeland. By W. G. COLLINGWOOD, Author of ' Thorstein of the Mere,' ' The Life 
and Work of John Ruskin,' etc. Cloth, i6nio., 3s. 6d. 

Crane- GEORGE'S MOTHER. By Stephen Crane. Author of 

' The Red Badge of Courage.' Cloth, 2s. 

Dunmore— ORMISDAL. A Novel. By the Earl of Dunmore, 

F.R.G.S., Author of 'The Pamirs.' One vol., crown 8vo., cloth, 6s. 

Ford— ON THE THRESHOLD. By Isabella O. Ford, Author of 

' Miss Blake of Monkshalton.' One vol., crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. 

Gaunt— DAVE'S SWEETHEART. By Mary Gaunt. One vol., 

8vo., cloth, 3s. 6d. 


Hutchinson— THAT FIDDLER FELLOW : A Tale of St. Andrews. 
By Horace G. Hutchinson, Author of 'My Wife's Politics,' 'Golf,' 'Creatures 
of Circumstance,' etc Crown 8vo., cloth, 2S. 6d. 




Fiction and Adventure. 


Knutsford-THE MYSTERY OF THE RUE SOLY. Translated by 

Lady Knutsford from the French of H. dk Balzac. Crown 8vo., cloth, 3s. 6d, 

McNulty— MISTHER O'RYAN. An Incident in the History of 

a Nation. By Edward McNultv. Small 8vo., elegantly bound, 3s. 6d. 

McNulty-SON OF A PEASANT. {See />a^re s.) 
Montr^SOP— WORTH WHILE. By F. F. Montr^sor, Author 

' Into the Highways and Hedges.' Crown 8vo., cloth, 2s. 6d. 

Oxenden— INTERLUDES. {Seepage 15.) 

Pinsent— JOB HILDRED. {Seepage 7). *"='' 

Prescott— A MASK AND A MARTYR. By E. Livingston P 

COTT, Author of ' Scarlet and Steel,' Cloth, 6s. '^'"f^ 

Spinnep-A RELUCTANT EVANGELIST. {See page is.) ..^ 

WiUiams-THE BAYONET THAT CAME HOME. {Seepage 15.) 




tTalee of adventure for 360)^0. 

Clowes— THE DOUBLE EMPEROR. By W. Laird Clowes, Author 

of 'The Great Peril,' etc. Illustrated. Crown Bvo., 3s. 6d. 


rAWCETT. Illustrated. Crown Bvo. , 3s. 6d. 

Fawcett— HARTMANN THE ANARCHIST; op, The Doom of the 

Great City. By E. Douglas Fawcett. With sixteen full-page and numerous 
smaller Illustrations by F. T. Jane. Crown 8vo., cloth, 3s. 6d. 

Fawcett— THE SECRET OF THE DESERT. By E. D. Fawcett. 

With numerous full-page Illustrations. Crown 8vo., cloth, 3s. 6d. 

HePVey— THE REEF OF GOLD. By Maurice H. Hervey. With 

numerous full-page Illustrations, handsomely bound. Gilt edges, 5s. 

HePVey— ERIC THE ARCHER. By Maurice H. Hervey. With 

numerous full-page Illustrations. Handsomely bound, crown 8vo. , 55. 

Munpoe— THE FUR SEAL'S TOOTH. By Kirk Munroe. Fully 

illustrated. Crown 8vo., cloth, 53. 


Fully illustrated. Crown 8vo., cloth, 53. 

MunPoe — RICK DALE. By Kirk Munroe. Fully n'-i^trated. 

Crown Bvo., cloth, 5s. 

Nash— BAREROCK ; or, The Island of Pearls. By Henry Nash. 
With numerous Illustrations by Lancelot Speed. Large crown Bvo., handsomely 
boimd, gilt edges, 5s. 






Mr. Edward Arnold's List. 

MorFtd on Science an^ pbiloaopb)?. 




CHARLES E. PAGET, Lecturer on Public Health in Owens College, 
I Medical Officer of Health for Salford, etc. 

Crown 8vo., 2s. 6d. 


/e welcome Mr. Paget' s attempt to indicate the lines on which efforts at reform may 
gjpccessful.' — British Medical Journal. 

\n admirable common-sense statement of the case.' —Yorkshire Post. 
■ An interesting summary of what has been done to register diseases.' — Sanitary Journal. 
'The importance of disease registration is lucidly and ably discussed.' — Pall Mall 


By E. \V. HOPKINS, Ph.D. (Leipzig), Professor of Sanskrit and 
Comparative Philology in Hryn Mawr College. 

One volume, demy 8vo., 8s. 6d. net. 

'Ought to meet avery distinct want. Professor Hopkins has ample learning. He knows 
the sacred books as few men do. He is also an independent student and critic. ... 
valuable biblios»rapliy, with works and articles classified under subjects, and a good ind 
should be mentioned.' — .Manchester G'lardi:.;:. 

j I 







Revised and largely re-written by W. Radford, House Surgeon at the 
Poplar Hospital, under the supervision of Sir DvCE Duckworth, M.D., 


Fully Illustrated, crown Svo., 3s. 6d. 

' A careful perusal of its pages has convinced us that at present the book has no equal. . . . 
May justly be described as a standard work of its kind, and one for svhich we foresee an 
e.xtensive circulation.' — Hospital. 

'The teaching in tlie book is modern and thoroughly practical.' — Scottish Medical and 
Surgical Journal. 

' The book is invaluable alike in the home and in the hospital ward.' — Cafie Times. 

' Should be in the hands of every nurse who is anxious to qualify herself in her profes- 
sion.' — Nurses' Journal. 

' We can recommend the book to nurses and practitioners alike.' — Lancet, 

New Scientific Books. 


at reform may 



By KARL PEARSON, F.R.S., Author of 'The Ethic of Free Thought,' etc. 

In two vols., demy 8vo., with Illustrations, 255. net. 

Contents of Vol. I. —The Chances of Death— The Scientific Aspect of Monte 
Carlo Koulette — Reproductive Selection — Socialism and Natural Selection — I'olitics 
and Science — Reaction — Woman and Labour — Variation in Man and Woman. 

Contents of V01-. XL— Woman as Witch— Ashiepattle ; or, Hans seeks his Luck 
— Kindred Group Marriage — The German Passion Play — Index. 

* We have pleasure in welcoming a new work of extreme scientific value and of deep 
popular interest. ' — Saturday h'tview. 

'Worthy of the high reputation which Mr. Pearson has already earnGA.'— British 


' All of these essays are well worth reading.' — Times. 

• Full of interest as regards their subject, and of animation in point of style.' — Daily 

' These brilliant volumes contain the most satisfactory work that Professor Pearson 
has yet done.'- Speaker, 



Author of ' Animal Life and Intelligence ^ ' The Sprin^^s of Conduct' etc. 

Demy 8vo., 16s. 

'A valuable book on a fascinating subject.' — Times. 

' An exceedingly interesting volume.' — British Review. 

' It is a book that no one interested in the larger problem of existence can afford to 
neglect. ' — Academy. 

' An admirable introduction to the study of a most important and fascinating branch of 
biology.'— Professor A. R. Wallack in Xutural Science. 


th Medical and 


By Prof. JOHN PERRY, F.R.S. 
Crown 8vo., 380 pp., cloth, 7s. 6d. 

'A great diversity of most instructive exercises are suggested A good index 

enhances the value of the book. . . , The author has been successful in retaining all ihat 
liveliness and originali ty of illustration which distinguishes him as a leciuieT.'— Electrician. 

' Elle m6rite tous les 61oges.' — M. Aliamet in L' Electrician, 


H- „-^. 



Mr. Edward Arnold's List. 

f\ lu 


of the Discussion on Early I^nd Tenure. By Enoch A. Bryan, A.M., President 
of Vinceniies University, Indiana. Crown 8vo., cloth, 4s. 6d. 


TUTIONAL LAW. ByJoHsW. Bi;rgess, Ph.D., LL.D., Dean of the University 
Faculty of Political Science in Columbia College, U.S.A. In two volumes, demy 
8vo. , cluth, 25s. 

Fawcett— THE RIDDLE OF THE UNIVERSE. Being an Attempt 

to determine the First Principles of Metaphysics considered as an Inquiry into the 
Conditions and I^■.pu:^ ol Consciousness. By Edwaru Douglas Fawcett. One 
vol. , demy 8vo. , 14s. 

Hopkins— THE RELIGIONS OF INDIA. {Seepage 18.) 

of the latest Lectures (at Gottingen and Berlin) of Hermann Lotze. Translated 
and edited by George T. Ladd, Professor of Philosophy in Yale College. About 
180 pages in each volume. Crown 8vo., cloth, 4s. each. Vol. 1. Metaphysics. Vol. 
II. Philosophy of Religion. Vol. III. Practical Philosophy. Vol. IV. Psychology. 
Vol. V. Esthetics. Vol. VI. Logic. 

THE JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY. Edited by C. O. Whitman, 

Professor of Biology in Clark University, U.S.A. Thrft- numbers in a volume of 
100 to 150 large 410. pages, with numerous plates. Single numbers, 17s. 6d. ; sub- 
scription iO the volume of three numbers, 45s. Volumes I. to XI I. can now be obtained, 
and the first number of Volume XIII. is reiidy. 


C. L1.0YI) Morgan, FXi.S., Principal of University College, Bristol. With 40 
Illustrations and a Photo-etched Frontispiece. Second Edition. Demy Svo., 
cloth, i6s. 

Mopgan-HABIT AND INSTINCT. {See page 19.) 

Morgran— THE SPRINGS OF CONDUCT. By Professor C. Lloyd 

Morgan, F.G.S. Cheaper Edition. Large crown 8vo., 3s. 6d. 

Mopg-an - PSYCHOLOGY FOR TEACHERS. By Professor C. Llovd 

Mok(;an, F.G.S. With a Preface by J. CJ. FircH. M.A., LL.D., late one of H.M. 
Cinef Inspectors of Training Colleges, One vol., crown 8vo., cloth, 3s. 6d. net. 

Pag-et -WASTED RECORDS OF DISEASE. {Seepage 18.) 
Peapson— THE CHANCES OF DEATH. {Seepage 19.) 
Peppy-CALCULUS FOR ENGINEERS. {Seepage 19.) 

Professor of Philosophy in Cornell University, U.S.A. Six Numbers a year. Single 
Numbers, 3s. 6d. ; Annual Subscription, 14s. post free. The first iVjmber was issued 
in January, '892. 

Shaw- A TEXT-BOOK OF NURSING. {Seepage i8.) 

Young— A GENERAL ASTRONOMY. By Charles A. Young, 

Proiessor of Astronomy in the College of New Jersey, Associate of the Royal Astro- 
nomiciil Society, Author of The Sun, etc. In one vol., 5,^0 P'*y«*s, with 250 Illustra- 
tions, and supplemented with the necessary tables, koyal 8vo., halt morocco, 
I2S. 6d. 


Works of General Literature. 



Morhe in (Bencral Xitcraturc. 



Selected and Arran^.ti, with Notes, by J. CHURTON 

Handsomely bound, crown 8vo., 7s. 6d. 

_' The idea is an arliiiirnlile one, and It has been adniiralily carried out. The book is a valuable con- 
tribution to poetical literature.' — Manchester Cuardinn. 

' A choice and beauiiful hmV.' —Stntvlard. 

' Few, if any, living critics have a knowledge of Kiij-'ish literature so accurate and exhaustivi as 
Mr. Churton Collins, When we take u|) an anthology compiled by him, we may be sure that no poem 
has been omitted from ignorance of its existence. ... It contains an abundance of most 'nti;resting 
verse.' — Saturdny Revii"W. 

' In this handsome volume Mr. Collins has undoubtedly succeeded in presenting to readers many 
exquisite poems for which they would search in vain in other collections.'— /fcvi(/t/Hy. 

or C. Lloyd 

niber was issued 



Professor in Wesleyan University, Middleton, U.S.A. 

Crown 8vo., cloth, 5s. 

'.Should it fall into the hands of a student in the earlv stages of his aciiu.iintanie with Dante, It will 
delight and amaze him by the scope, the variety, and ibe miii;itt.ness i.f the references to natural 
objects .ind phenomena wliicn it records.' — Munclic^tci- (',iia>i/iiiii 

'Critical and erudite . . . a valuable commetilary.' — I'ti/l Mn/l Gii-cttc. 


By the Very Rev. S. REYNOLDS HOLE, Dean of Rochester. 

Author pf^A Book ahotit the Garden,^ '.-/ Little 'J'otir in Ireland.' 

Illustrated by H. G. Moon and G. Elgood. 

The Presentation Edition, with coloured plates, etc., handsomely bound, 
los. 6d. ; Popular lidition, with frontispiece, 3s. 6d. 

The call for a fifteenth edition of this po[)ular work enabled Dean 
Hole to thoroughly revise and largely to rewrite the book, bringing the 
information in it well up to date. Advantage has also been taken of 
the opportunity to respond to the frequently expressed wishes of many 
admirers of the book for a more handsome and illustrated edition ; it 
has therefore been reprinted, and beautifully Colol'rkd Platks have 
been drawn by Mr. H. Ci. Moon, while Mr. G Elgood contributes 
charming black-and white pictures. 'I'here is also a facsimile of a 
sketch by John Leech given to Dean Hole, and never before [)ublished. 


IV / 


Mr. Edward Arnold's List. 


;< :■: } 

i4J- 1 


Translated from the French of M. LOUIS PAULIAN. 

Crown 8vo., paper boards, 192 pages, is. 

Not only contains a great many amusing; and instructive anecdotes, but formulates a 
definite scheme for the entiri; suppression of begging as a trade. Lady Herschells ex- 
cellent translation sliould be read by all who are interested in the vexed question of charity- 
giving, and even to those who read but for amusement it will prove vastly interesting.'— 

' One of the most interesting books which have appeared during recent years on the 
subject of mendicancy.'— A'lUiouii/ Observer. 

'Lady Herschell's translation is worthy of ^L Paulian's interesting manner.'— /^a// 
.Mall Gazette. 

' A fascinating book.' — Spectator. 




.Author of ' Wagner's Heroes.' 

Illustrated by J. W, M.VUD. Crown Svo., 5s. 

' Miss Maud's poetical and successful attempt at embodying the fantasies of Wagner in 
the form of tales. . . . She has made a clear advance in her second volume. . . . This 
is, in fine, really a beautiful casket of stories.'— S/>eitator. 

' The volume is capitally illustratei! by some really beautiful drawings from the pencil of 
Mr. W. T, Maud.' — IVcstminsler Hazette. 

' We recommend everyone who '.ikes moving and lovely stories to read thein.' — Saturday 



By HENRY N. ELLACOMT.E, M.A, Vicar of Bitten, 

.liif/wr 0/ ' In u Ci/oacc:tersi,:rc Ganfeii,' etc. 

Fully Illustrated by Major E. Bexgough Ricketts. 
Large Crown 8vo., handsomely bound, los. 6d. 

'.■\ very useful work. We find an account of all the plants mentioned in Shakespeare, 
and ciuotations of all the passages in which siicli ntention is n\RAe.' —Saturday A'cvu:^: 
' .Mr. Ellacombe has produced a fascinating book.' — Church Times. 



By CHARLES D. BELL, U D., Honorary Canon of Carlisle. 
Crown 8vo., cloth, 3s. 6d. 
'A good example of the sound, old-fashioned Evangelical Churchmanship.' — Guardian. 

Works of General Literature. 



Bell— DIANA'S LOOKING GLASS, and other Poems. By the 

Rev. Canon Bell, D.D., Rector of Chelienham, and Hon. Canon of Carlisle. 
Crown 8vo., cloth, 5s. net. 

Bell— POEMS OLD AND NEW. By the Rev. Canon Bell, D.D. 

Cloth, 7s. 6d. 

Bell— THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME, and other Sermons. 

By the Rev. CANON Bell, D.D. Cloth, 53. 

Bell-THE GOSPEL AND POWER OF GOD. {Seepage 22.) 
Bell— KLEINES HAUSTHEATER. Fifteen Little Plays in German 

for Children. By Mrs. HucJH Bell. Crown 8vo., cloth, 2s. 

Most of these little plays have been adapted from the author's ' Petit TMkire,' the 
remainder from a little book of English plays by the same writer entitled ' Nursery 
Comedies. ' 

Butler-SELECT ESSAYS OF SAINTE BEUVE. Chiefly bearing 

on English Literature. Translated by A. J. Butler, Translator of 'The Memoirs of 
Baron Marbot.' One vol., 8vo., cloth, 5s. net. 

Clouston— EARLY ENGLISH FURNITURE. (Seepages.) 
CoUingwOOd— THORSTEIN OF THE MERE : a Saga of the North- 

men in Lakeland. By W. G. Collingwood, Author of ' Life of John Ruskin," etc. 
With Illustrations. Price los. 6d. 


page 21.) 

Cook— THE DEFENSE OF POESY, otherwise known as An 

APOLOGY FOR POETRY. By Sir Philip Sidney. Edited by A. S. Cook, Pro- 
fessor of English Literature in Yale University. Crown Svo. , cloth, 4s. 6d. 

Cook— A DEFENCE OF POETRY. By Percy Bvsshe Shelley. 

Edited, with notes and introduction, by Professor .V. S. Cook. Crown Svo. , cloth, 
2S. 6d. 

Davidson— A HANDBOOK TO DANTE. By Giovanni A. Scar- 

TAZZINI. Translated from the Italian, with notes and additions, by Thomas Davidson, 
M.A. Crown Svo., clcth, 6s, 


SHAKESPEARE. ( See p.t^-e 22. ) 


Rev. Canon Fleming, Vicar of St. Michael's, Chester Square. Third ediiion. 
Cloth, 3s. 6d. 


TO VICTORIA. Chosen and arranged by James M. Garnett, M.A., LL.D. 700 
pages, large crown Svo., cloth, 7s. 61I. 


By the Right Hon. George Joachim Goschen. Crown Svo., cloth, 2s. 6d. 

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. 28 
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. 7 
• 5 
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Adams.— The Palace on the Moor 
Adderley. — Stephen Remarx 

,, Paul Mercer 

Aglen.— Old Testament History 
ALDRiCH.— Arctic Alaska 
American Game Fishes 

Bacon.— Ciiv of Blood .... 3 
Balfour.— Twelve Hundred Miles in a 

Waggon »3 

Bell, Mrs. — Kleines Haustheater . . 23 
Bell (Rev. Canon).— The Gospel the 
Power of God 

,, Sermons .... 

,, Diana's Looking Glass . 

,, Poems Old and New 

Benson. — Men of Might. 
Beukeley. — Reminiscences of a Hunts 


Beynon.— With Kelly to Chitral . 
Blatchford. —Tommy Atkins 
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Boyle. — Recollections of the Dean of 


Brown. ^ Works on Poultry Keeping . 
Bryan. — Mark in Europe 
Bull. —The Cruise of the ' Antarctic ' 
BURBIDGE.— Wild Flowers in Art . 
Burgess. — Political Science . 
Butler.— Select Essays of Sainte Beuve 

Cawston.— The Early Chartered Com- 

Chapman.— Wild Norway 

Chaki.eton.— Netherdyke 

Cherbuliez.— The Tutor's Secret . 

Children's Favourite Series . 

Children's Hour Series 

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Clouston.— Early English Furniture 

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Coleridge.— King with Two Faces 

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,, The Bondwoman . 

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,, Shelley's Defence of Poetry 

Cosmopolite.— Sportsman in Ireland . 

Crane. — George's Mother 

Cunningham.— Draughts Manual . 

CusTANCE. — Riding Recollections . 

Davidson.— Handbook to Dante . . 23 















, 8 





Dk Vkrk.— Recollections . . .a 
Dunmore.— Ormisdal . . . .16 

Ellacombe. — In a Gloucestershire 
Garden 27 

Ellacombe. — The Plant Lore of Shake- 
speare 23 

Fawcett. — Hartmann the Anarchist . 28 
,, Riddle of the Universe . 20 
, , Secret of the Desert . . 28 
,, Swallowed by an Earthquake 28 
Field.— Master Magnus. . . .28 
Fleming. — Art of Reading and Speaking 23 
FoKD.— On the Threshold . . .16 
Fowler.— Echoes of Old County Life . 25 
Frb:shfiei.d. — Exploration of the Cau- 
casus 13 

Gardner. — Friends of Olden Time . a8 
Rome: Middle of World . 4 
Gaknett.— Selections in English Prose . 23 
Gaunt. — Dave's Sweetheart . . .16 
Gordon. — Persia Revisited . . .13 
GoSCHEN. — Cultivation and Use of the 

Imagination 23 

Gussip.— Chess Pocket Manual . . 27 
Great Public Schools . . .23 
GUMMEHE. — Old English Ballads . . 23 

Hadjira 16 

Hall.— Fish Tails 12 

Hans Andersen.— Snow Queen . . 28 
,, Tales from . . 28 
Hare. — Life and Letters of Maria Edge- 
worth 25 

Harrison. — Early Victorian Literature . 24 
Haktshukne.— Old English Glasses . i 
Hkkschell. — Parisian IBeggars . . 22 
Hervey. — Eric the Archer . . . a8 
Reef of Gold . . . .38 
Higgins. — New Guide to the Pacific 

Coast 14 

Hole. — Addresses to Working Men . 24 
,, Book about Roses . . .21 
,, Book about the Garden . . 27 
,, Little Tour in America . .13 
,, Little Tour in Ireland . . 13 

,, Memories 25 

,, More Memories . . . .25 
Holt.— Fancy Dresses Described . . 27 
Hoi'KiNSON. — Toby's Promise . . 28 
HoPKiN.s.— Religions of India. . . 18 
Hudson.— Life, Art, and Characters of 

Shakespeare . . .24 

,, Harvard Shakespeare . . 24 

Hunt. — What is Poetry ? . . .24 


32 Mr. Edward Arnold's New Books & Auuoimccmcnts. 


Hutchinson.— That Fiddler Fellow . 16 


Johnston.— Joel ; a Boy of Galilee . a8 

Kav. — OiniiMh's Yaman . . . .25 
Kknney-Hekbrrt.— Fifty Breakfasts . 27 
„ ,, Fifty Dinners . 27 

„ ,, Fifiy Lunches . 27 

„ „ Fifty Suppers . 4 

„ ,, Comiiicr.-sensc 

Cookery 27 

K n ight-Bruce. —Memories of Mashona- 

land 13 

Knox —Hunters Three . . .28 
K..i;TSFORD,— Mystery of the Rue Soly . 17 
KUHNS.— The Treatment of Nature in 
Dnnte 21 

Lano. — Lamb's Adventures of Ulysses . 24 
Leader. — Autobiography of Roebuck . 2 
Lecky.— Political Value of History. . 25 
Le Kanu. — Seventy Years of Irish Life . 25 
Lekkingwell.— Art of Wing-Shooting . 14 
Legh. — How Dick and Molly went round 

the World 28 

Legh. —How Dick and Molly saw Eng- 
land 28 

Legh.— My Dog Plato . . . .28 
Lotze.— Philosophical Outlines . . 20 

Macdonald. — Memoirs of Sir John 

Macdonald 25 

Macdonald. — Soldiering and Surveying 

in British East Africa . ... 12 

Maud. — Wagner's Heroes . . .24 

,, Wagner's Heroines . . .32 

Maxwell. — The Sportsman's Library . 10 

,, Memories of the Months . 12 

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McNuLTY.— MistherO'Ryan . . .17 

,, Son of a Peasant . . 8 

MiLNER.— England in Egypt . . .25 

Arnold Toynbee , . .36 

MoNTRifsoR.— Worth While . . .17 

More Beasts for Worse Children . . 6 

MORGAN. — Animal Life . . . . -20 

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„ Psychology for Teachers . 20 

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MORPHOLOGY, Journal OF . . .20 

Morrison.— Life's Prescription . . 24 

Mi;nroe.— Fur Seal's Tooth . . .28 

,, Rick Dale . . . .28 

„ Snow-shoes and Sledges . 28 

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National Review . . . .30 

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Philosophical Review 
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Pinsent— Job Hildred .... 
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Portal. — Biiiish Mission to Uganda 

,, My Mission to Abysiiinia 

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Pulitzer. — Romance of Prince Eugene . 










Raleigh.— Robert Louis Stevenson 

.. Style 4 

Ransome.— Battles of Frederick the Great 36 
Raymond.— Mushroom Cave . . .38 
Rochefort. —The Adventures of My Life 36 
RouD.— Ballads of the Fleet . . .5 
KoDD.- Worksby Rennell Rodd . .24 
RuEHUCK.— Autobiography . . .3 

Santley.— Student and Singer . . 36 
Schelling. — Elizabethan Lyrics . . 34 
,, Ben Jonson's Timber . 34 

ScROPE. — Art of Deer-Stalking . . 9 
Shaw.— A Text Book of Nursing . . 18 
Sherard. — Alphonse Daudet . . .36 
Shields. — Camping and Camp Outfits . 14 
Shields.— American Book of the Dog . 14 
Shorland. — Cycling for Health and 

Pleasure 37 

SiCHEL.— The Story of Two Salons . . 24 
Slatin. — Fire and Sword in the Sudan . 6 
Smith. — The Life of a Fox . . .10 
,, Through Unknown African 

Countries 11 

Spinner.— A Reluctant Evangelist . . 15 
Stone. — In and Beyond the Himalayas . 14 

Tatham.— Men of Might . . .25 

Thayer. — Best Elizabethan Plays . . 34 

Thomas.— Sweden and the Swedes . . 14 

Thornton.— A Sporting Tour . .10 

Tollemache.— Benjamin Jowett . . 36 

Twining. — Recollections of Life and 

Work 36 

White. — PleasurahL- Bee-Keeping 
Wild Flovlks in Art and N itKi. 
Williams. —The Bayori' th came 

Home ... 
Winchester Colleg 

Young. — General Astro, ay 




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